In the recent past, Nigeria’s CBDC launch and its subsequent rise in use within a month have overshadowed the struggles that Nigerians are going through to trade cryptocurrencies. The Nigerian Central Bank launched digital Naira after some delays, but the motive was to curb the use of private cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and other altcoins.
eNaira has already proven to be a great success in terms of adoption as the number of wallet downloads crossed 500,000. 78,000 merchants from 160 countries have also enrolled for the use of CBDC and a total of $155,000 worth of eNaira has been transacted since launch. The CBDC launch has also successfully brought down Bitcoin trading volume in the region by one-fourth. However, several Nigerian traders are still risking police arrests and growing scams as it is the only livelihood they have, making profits on the crypto trade.
Adebayo Sulaimon, a crypto trader in the country was recently arrested for trading cryptocurrencies and was released on a $290 bond. But as soon as he returned from jail he started trading crypto assets again and explained why,
“There were no jobs, nothing to do. We had to look for (ways) to eat. I trade cryptocurrency and I use it to survive, not as a side hustle,”
Is Crypto Ban in Nigeria a Success?
The growing popularity of eNaira within a month of its launch and declining crypto trading numbers might indicate that the crypto ban imposed by the government has been successful. Nigeria is among the selected few countries which have decided to outright ban crypto use like China, Russia, and Turkey.
The Nigerian government believes crypto can be used as a tool for money laundering, terrorism financing, and other illegal activities. However, Kunbi Ademola, a tech-focused lawyer in the country claimed that the ban has been ineffective and it has only pushed the crypto market underground.
“The ban has been ineffective,” said Kunbi Ademola, a lawyer focused on the tech industry, now based in Britain. “But it has exposed a lot more young people to fraud … (peer-to-peer) is not as secure as the direct exchanges that you could do before on the cryptocurrency exchanges.”
Many countries have tried to outright ban crypto use but on all those occasions, the ban has proven to be ineffective given the centralized nature.
Indian Crypto Bill in Anvil, Govt. to Weigh Pros & Cons of Crypto
The latest update in the controversial Indian Crypto Bill saw the Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman consider the underlying technological boon that comes with the industry’s banes. While speaking at the ‘Agenda Aaj Tak‘ event in Delhi yesterday, Sitharaman noted that the crypto bill is in anvil and will soon be sent for approval to the cabinet.
Furthermore, she highlighted the juxtaposition given the government’s concerns about the decentralised industry accompanied by their plan to fully avail the financial benefits of the blockchain technology. Following this mindset, she ascertained that the “Cryptocurrency bill will take into account the underlying technology”.
Ambani’s Two-Cents on Crypto
The Indian government appears to be on the right track, financially, given that even the richest man in all of Asia, Mukesh Ambani swears by the same technological advancement with the blockchain.
He spoke yesterday, at a forum organised by India’s International Financial Services Centres Authority together with Bloomberg, where he argued the potential of blockchain technology. Ambani said, “Blockchain is the technology I believe in and it is different from crypto”. Ambani claimed that India will see an evolution in its “fintech, education technology, health technology, and industry” through digital services.
Furthermore, he compared the power of data to that of former days’ oil, asserting the only difference being, data’s easy accessibility.
“Digital technology, I believe, is a great leveler, a great democratizer…The new oil, i.e. data, can be generated and consumed everywhere and by everybody. It has the potential to create value equitably across sectors, geographies, and economic classes.”, said Ambani.
Despite understanding the pros, like innovation and technological advancements, the Indian government is determined to regulate the decentralised industry in lieu of its dangerously fast-evolving nature. According to CoinGape’s exclusive coverage on Nirmala Sitharaman’s stance towards upcoming crypto regulations, she noted that mere national level monitoring will never be enough when it comes to the decentralised industry. Sitharaman called upon global regulators to come together to centralise a borderless body like crypto.
“All of us also recognise technology respects no physical border. Technology has the power to sweep through borders. It means global action is the only way in which you can regulate it effectively”, said Sitharaman.
Whales Are Actively Accumulating Three Altcoins – And Selling Two Others, According to Crypto Analytics Firm Santiment
Crypto whales are actively accumulating three altcoins and selling two others, according to the crypto analytics firm Santiment.
Santiment says whale tracking can be an effective method of determining which crypto assets look bullish or bearish.
The analytics firm notes that the number of whale addresses holding between 1-10 million Skale (SKL) has surged in the past week.
SKL is the native asset for Skale, a blockchain network that aims to enable developers to create and provide decentralized chains that are compatible with Ethereum. SKL is trading at $0.28 at time of writing and is down more than 10% in the past 24 hours.
The number of whale addresses holding between 100-10,000 Maker (MKR) has also shot up in the second half of November, according to Santiment.
Maker is a governance token that supports DAI, a stablecoin that is pegged one-to-one to the US dollar without any banks, governments or third parties. MKR is trading at $2,683.35 at time of writing and is down more than 9% on the day.
Santiment notes that the number of whale addresses holding between 1-10 million Ocean Protocol (OCEAN) has also increased in the second half of last month.
OCEAN is the native asset of the Ocean Protocol, a blockchain ecosystem that connects data providers and consumers. The 193rd-ranked crypto asset by market cap is trading at $1.15 at time of writing and is down nearly 9% in the past 24 hours.
On the flip side, Santiment notes the number of whale addresses holding between 1-10 million Ren (REN) has decreased in the past week.
Ren is a platform that powers transactions between different blockchain platforms. It aims to make it easy for users to adopt and invest in decentralized finance (DeFi). REN is trading at $0.80 at time of writing and is down more than 8% on the day.
The number of whale addresses holding between 1-10 million GRT is also down in the past two weeks, according to the analytics firm.
GRT is the native token for The Graph, a platform that indexes and organizes blockchain data. The 46th-ranked crypto asset by market cap is trading at $0.79 at time of writing and is down more than 9% on the day.
Santiment also notes the number of addresses holding between 100-10,000 Basic Attention Token (BAT) has also gone down slightly. While the analytics firm refers to these addresses as “whales,” that appears to be a mistake, since BAT is only trading at $1.21 at time of writing.
BAT is a utility token based on Ethereum. It powers the anti-ad web browser Brave, which focuses on protecting a user’s data by removing ads and ad trackers. The 84th-ranked crypto asset by market cap is trading is down 12.5% in the past 24 hours.
Investor Charlie Munger Calls Crypto ‘Crazier Than DotCom Era’, Backs China for Banning Them
The crypto market rally this year in 2021 has been indeed crazier with the broader growing market growing 3x by adding nearly $2 trillion to the overall market cap. However, traditional investors and big names like Charlie Munger are finding it too difficult to digest.
The investment legend calls this rally in the crypto market to be crazier than the dotcom era. Addressing Australian investors at the Sohn Hearts and Minds conference on Friday, December 3, Mr. Munger called this investment environment “a little more extreme”. He also backed China on clamping down on “some of the exuberances” of capitalism. Expressing his extreme criticism towards cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin, Mr. Munger said:
“I think the dot com boom was crazier in terms of valuations than even what we have now. But overall, I consider this era even crazier than the dot-com era. I just can’t stand participating in these insane booms, one way or the other. It seems to be working; everybody wants to pile in, and I have a different attitude. I want to make my money by selling people things that are good for them, not things that are bad for them.
Believe me, the people who are creating cryptocurrencies are not thinking about the customer, they are thinking about themselves,” he added.
Munger Backs China for Banning Digital Assets
The legendary investor further added that he would never participate in this “insane” crypto boom. More interestingly, Munger even backed China for banning cryptocurrencies entirely. He noted:
“I’m never going to buy a cryptocurrency. I wish they’d never been invented. I think the Chinese made the correct decision, which is to simply ban them. My country – English-speaking civilisation – has made the wrong decision”.
Legendary investor Warren Buffett and Munger’s partner at Berkshire Hathaway have also showered strong criticism on Bitcoin in the past calling it ‘rat poison squared’. After Buffet’s comments back in 2018, Bitcoin has just continued to grow higher.