The Federal Inland Revenue Service FIRS, the Nigeria federal tax administration body has announced it will start collecting tax on online transactions. The type of tax called Value Added Tax is expected to remain the same 5% on goods and services purchased online.
Nigeria gets majority of its revenues from oil proceeds however, in recent years; the tax collecting body has been seeing increasing tax collection rate as opposed to previous tax periods that was characterized by stupendous tax evasion.
As the Nigerian state continues to exploit ways to increase its tax collection, the move into the digital space may have come as a shock to some. The tax body desires to collect tax on digital transactions. Though it hasn’t disclosed if there will be any other form of exemption on its’ 5% VAT Collections.
As one of the most populous countries in the world with quite an unstable local currency which Nigerians are taking the initiate to better their lots by growing and storing wealth in cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies enables Nigerians to bypass slow, cumbersome and high fees traditional means of sending and receiving money all over the world.
The announcement of the online tax has brought some questions about the implications of the tax on the Nigerian people and businesses considering the E-commerce industry is still an infant industry when compared to the oil and gas industry with several people expressing total dislike for the tax. The ingenuity of the Nigerian people has been tested at several times and surprising they continue to produce outstanding results.
As the FIRS attempts to continue with the taxation on online goods and services, it is understandable that there are three options. One where the individuals forsake online payments and revert to cash, continues and pay the 5% VAT on purchases or find a way to reduce their total amount expended on purchases.
Trading in cryptocurrencies has also been a way to make more wealth. The daily trading volume of cryptocurrencies which stands at over One Billion Naira is a testament to this.
The Federal Inland Revenue Service has not disclosed if some goods and services will be exempted from this digital tax. Since the 5% VAT will be deducted upon purchases by agents of the tax bodies which are banks, there is an opportunity for cryptocurrency as a means to make purchases online without having to encounter additional charges.
Considering the fact that the tax could increase the cost of online goods, cryptocurrency payment solutions offer a convenient way to avoid paying extra cost. Several cryptocurrency firms offer crypto debit cards which allow owners to buy anything online with their bitcoin, ethereum or other cryptocurrencies without having to go through the local bank accounts.
As the knowledge of cryptocurrencies and blockchain grows in Nigeria with the Nigeria’s Federal Tax Body intention to push for the enforcement of this online tax, consumers would seek for the next alternative that does not cause them to expend more than they ought to. That alternative is cryptocurrencies and this will undoubtedly boost cryptocurrency payment solutions.
One Africa, One Coin: Akon As A Beacon of Hope For Entreprenuers in Africa Through the Akoin Cryptocurrency
Access to financial resources has always been an issue undermining the potentials of various markets in Africa. Africa is host to individuals of great diversity but one thing which is unifying in spite of the great differences is the entrepreneurial spirits in Africans.
Various organizations have been coming to Africa and those initiated by local bodies have been pushing to grow the economy of Africa countries through various programs.
World renowned Rapper Akon is one of those individuals taking the initiates in gradually affecting lives of entrepreneurs by providing them access to the necessities which they so much desire as well as helping families across the continent.
Not long ago, Akon announced his intention to build a ‘crypto city’. The intention was met with great across the world and crypto industry in particular. The city is expected to utilize the Akoin cryptocurrency for economic value exchange.
“Akoin is a new cryptocurrency from visionary changemaker Akon and is the foundation of the AKoin Ecosystem – a unique global project that offers an abundance of digital and in-real-life platforms and experiences that create opportunity and inclusion”.
“Akoin will provide a much-needed platform for individuals to gain access to educational materials, tools and resources to make their entrepreneurial visions a reality. This, in turn, will foster a more sustainable environment that encourages a focus on entrepreneurship over charity.”
Akon Launches “Activate our Akoin Entreprenuers”
As part of his vision in supporting Africa entrepreneurs, Akon has launched the “Activate our Akoin Entreprenuers!” campaign. The campaign is designed to help lift up entrepreneurs in rising economics like Africa and beyond and make sure they get the chance to become the future business titans/leaders they deserve to be.
The campaign involves donating to support the initiate and receiving for each one dollar donated the Token of Appreciation TOA cryptocurrency. The TOA will hold no monetary value at present time. It is a symbol of conscious effort to see the betterment of others in the world.
According to the Akoin Foundation website, the Campaign is believed to address the challenges of entrepreneurs who will create the products and service, and associated jobs for the next generations to thrive. The objective is to educate, inspire and activate 2 million new CEOs in Africa and beyond by 2030.
The goal of the Campaign is to create immediate opportunities for young African entrepreneurs to learn, earn, save and grow.
The donation received will help fund programs that offer business and skills development such as learning, marketing, community building and earning opportunities for Akoin Ambassadors. The donations are expected to continue till 37 days time from this publication.
— Akoin.io (@AkoinOfficial) August 8, 2019
As the fund raising goal is to help build the Akoin Platform, the technical heart of the Akoin ecosystem and help jumpstart it’s philanthropic program, it is moving in the right direction as it already received as donations $168,072 from over 2600 participants.
Akon aspires to be the President of his country by 2020, what values he will bring to the Senegalese economy would be invaluable.
Expanding the Opera Platform Aggregation Business in Nigeria Using Blockchain & Cryptocurrency Technology
Nigeria is a big market for lots of products. As the most populous black nation, Nigeria’s daily expenditures run into billions of naira. In spite of economic position in the country, Nigerians are still heavy spenders.
Opera took the Nigerian mobile browser market over with its portable, clean and fast UI/UX browser the Opera Mini. On Java Mobile Phones, the Opera Mini browser was the most preferred amongst various at the time.
As the Android OS became mainstream, the same reason why Java phone users loved became even more noticed in the intuitive Android Version. Clean UI which enables users to access, share and save web contents easily has continued to draw others into it.
Opera News Content Aggregator
With the commencement of Opera News Aggregator services that is integrated into the Opera Browser, an app that churns out daily, thousands of contents to users all over Nigeria thus enabling indigenous users and the world over to access news, sports updates, gossip, music, videos, basically contents on all subjects, the firm is growing in its business as an impressive rate. Of some of the interesting features of Opera News Aggregator is the machine learning ability which serves content based on pre-viewed contents or searched keywords.
This ensures that users of the Opera browser receive constant personalized contents which keep them coming back for more.
For some time, Opera has been working on developing a cryptocurrency for its Browser similar to the Brave Browser.
As one of the leading browsers, the move to integrate cryptocurrency wallet appeals to the enthusiasm of cryptocurrency users not forgetting security concerns though.
OPay and ORide Business Strategy
Growing and expanding it’s aggregation business, the Parent Company of Opera has floated a finance technology subsidiary OPAY (Opera Pay) which it hopes strengthens the position of the firm in the growing fintech industry in Nigeria.
As part of its strategy, the ORide, an On-Demand Motorcycle Hailing Service was launched to disrupt the motorcycle hailing business in Nigeria. These series of moves are designed to capture significant user base in the country.
How Cryptocurrency Can Enable Opera Win Huge User base
Opera has already captured the content aggregation business with incentives to content creators where they share in the revenue generated from the advertisements on the aggregated articles.
Since Opera already has a large user base which if combined with other growing enterprises will see it as one of the largest in Nigeria other than Facebook, Twitter etc, the blockchain technology can enable Opera achieves mass adoption.
The Opera content aggregator relies on two most important classes of people to thrive. These are the Content Creators (blogs, vlogs, news portals etc) and the Content Consumers (readers, viewers). The current arrangement is effectively rewarding content creators for contributing thus Opera cannot be sued for reproduction or stealing their contents.
Next is how to incentivize users to come on more unto the platform. Data is Oil in the 21st century. Data can only be gotten when there are users’ activities. The higher the number of users, the higher the volume of data.
With the Opera News Content Aggregation already integrated into the Opera Browser software, and the cryptocurrency wallet, Opera could either launch a token (appreciable or stable) which it can use to incentivize (reward) Content Consumers when they click and read an article or watch a video.
The desire to earn while enjoying one’s time will draw thousands of users ranging from secondary to tertiary and other classes of people to use the Opera browser.
Opera has the financial capabilities, the technical competence, the tools, infrastructure and the market has not been touched in Nigeria.
An Infographic Perspective to Cryptocurrency Analysis
Bitcoin was launched in 2009 and at present has a market value of $163 billion. The advantages of Bitcoin are, it is the original cryptocurrency, and is the largest and most popular on the blockchain network. It is the most battle tested one against the attackers.
The loophole of it is, with the growing demand it has stressed the Bitcoin’s network, and making the transactions expensive. The system can process only about seven transactions per second, which is nonetheless guzzles the electricity owing to the consensus protocol, proof of work, and is designed to make mining labor more intensive.
Ethereum was launched in 2015 and at present has a market value of $70 billion.
The advantages of Ethereum is, It is a built-in programming language which allows the developers to write computer programs called as smart contracts, which run on the blockchain. The most initial coin offerings (ICOs) so far were based on the Ethereum smart contracts.
The loop hole of Ethereum is that it uses proof of work, which is relatively slow and energy hungry. Many of the early smart contracts were vulnerable to hacking, and the field of this smart contract security is immature.
Ripple was launched in 2012 and at present has a market value of $32 billion. The advantage of Ripple is its crypto token which is called as XRP, which is a “bridge currency” for the financial institutions so as to settle the cross-border payments faster and in a more cheap way than they do at present. It uses a novel consensus protocol that which allows for a much faster transactions than the Bitcoin and Ethereum.
The loop hole of it is, Since Ripple is a privately owned company, it has a lot of control over the system and the users say XRP is not decentralized enough which is in contrast with the Bitcoin, where anybody can mine.
Bitcoin cash (BCH)
Bitcoin cash was launched in 2017 and at present has a market value of $19 billion. The advantages of Bitcoin cash is the creators of this currency has made the product a “hard fork” of the Bitcoin, which means it is a tweaked Bitcoin’s software so as to handle the larger transaction volumes.
The loophole is Critics say that Bitcoin Cash is too centralized with a handful of miners who create most of these coins.
Litecoin LTC was launched in 2011 and at present has a market value of $10 billion. The advantage of Litecoin is that it is an “alt-coin” and nearly a clone of Bitcoin, but with a very few alterations. It processes the transactions four times faster, and the mining process is designed to remain open to their hobbyist which is not the case with the Bitcoin, in which the professional miners use the expensive hardware.
The loophole of it is though it is faster than the Bitcoin, the Litecoin is still too slow and energy hungry to be as an ideal payment method and it also has the added handicap of being a far less well-known one.
Cardano was launched in 2017 and at present has a market value of $5.9 billion.
The advantages of Cardano’s are, the creators of it say that the system is only a platform for the trading and transferring the token which puts an emphasis on the privacy and regulatory compliance. They also say that Cardano will eventually host smart contracts. In this way it will be more like Ethereum, but it uses a proof-of-stake consensus protocol and thus gobbles up little energy.
The loop hole of it is despite big claims from its developers; there is still very little information on Cardano.
Neo was launched in 2014 and at present has a market value of $5.8 billion. The advantage of Neo is that it is a China’s biggest cryptocurrency, and is a smart-contract platform with goals similar to the Ethereum’s. It uses a consensus protocol called as delegated Byzantine fault tolerance, which the NEO’s creators say it allows around 10,000 transactions per second when compared to Ethereum’s.
The loop hole of NEO is that it is highly centralized, and is not clear that this will ever change or not. The founder has said that the plan is to make it a more decentralized one someday.
Stellar Lumens (XLM):
Stellar Lumens was launched in 2014 and at present has a market value of $5.6 billion. The
advantage of Stellar is that it is a ledger of the hard fork of Ripple’s, which likewise aims for its lumens to be a bridge currency for the cross-border payments which only runs by a nonprofit, instead for a profit company. It also plans to compete with the Ethereum as a platform for the initial coin offerings.
The loop hole is Stellar faces a lot of competition, from Ripple as well as the traditional banking system’s dominant platform, called SWIFT, which is testing a distributed ledger technology with the blockchain-ish elements.
Eos was launched in 2017 and at present has a market value of $4.3 billion. The advantage of EOS is its tokens exist and at present it is being traded on Ethereum, though its smart-contract platform itself is billed as yet another Ethereum killer, it is yet to be launched. Like Cardano, it uses the proof-of-stake protocol instead of the proof of work which theoretically makes the transactions much faster and more efficient.
The loop hole is despite being on the track to raise more than $1 billion through an ICO; the project is nearly an impossible to judge before the network gets launched.
Monero was launched in 2014 and at present has a market value of $4.3 billion. The advantage of Monero is it uses ring signatures which is a type of digital signature that lets any member of the group to perform a transaction without revealing which one of them it was
actually. It is a way to let the users transact privately, and the mining process is designed to be an “egalitarian.”
The loop hole of Monero’s is its features have made it a preferred coin amongst the cybercriminals, and it has helped to fuel the rise of “cryptojacking,” where the hackers use malware to make other people’s computers to mine the cryptocurrency for them.
Dash was launched in 2014 and is formerly called as Xcash or Darkcoin. At present it has a market value of $4.3 billion. The advantages of Dash is that, it is the most decentralised coin in terms of rich list of addresses and governance.
Dash has notable features such as Instatsend, Privatesend, Chainlocks, DAO amongst others which speed up the payment processing.
The loop hole like few other coins, Dash also has the centralization problem. Because of this mishap, too many coins were distributed the moment it was first released, by concentrating on the wealth and giving a small group of disproportionate power in the decisions over the currency’s future.
Iota at present has a market value of $3.8 billion.
The advantage of IOTA’s system is it does not use the blockchain, instead it employees a shared ledger which is based on the mathematical structure called as directed acyclic graph. It aims to be the currency which is used by the internet-of-things devices to buy, sell, and trade the data, whether its transaction partners are other devices or the customers like the technology companies.
The loop hole is the Critics say IOTA is too centralized and the numerous cryptography researchers have questioned on the system’s overall security features.
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