12 FEB, 2021


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Good morning ☀️ ️

Our charge to you is to do something this weekend that your future self will thank you for. Today’s guest writer is Jessica Hope, Founder and CEO of Wimbart. Jessica looks back at major events this week.
In today's edition:
  • CBN vs Crypto
  • Elon Musk
  • NIN versus BVN
  • Insights


Last Friday afternoon, Nigeria’s central bank dropped a five-page press release that called for banks and other financial institutions to close the accounts of cryptocurrency exchanges in the country. In the circular, the CBN denounced digital currencies as, “a method of encrypting and hiding codes that prevent oversight, accountability, and regulation.” In short, all financial institutions are required, by law, to close any accounts transacting or operating on cryptocurrency exchanges. Nigerian Twitter, especially the crypto and fintech companies, went into meltdown, which sparked immediate action by some of the main players to mitigate any fallout and consumer concerns. Bamboo, Luno, Flutterwave, Trove and others rushed to communicate next steps with their customers - bringing transparency and clear lines of communication amidst the fallout. Read: Access Bank, GTBank begin closing customer accounts that have traded cryptocurrency Whilst the timing of the assault on Nigeria’s crypto community was a surprise for all, the fact that Nigeria is the second-largest bitcoin market in the world and that the CBN hasn’t fully grasped the scope, opportunity, or regulatory requirements needed for the cryptocurrency, the move itself to essentially ban it, isn’t so surprising. And as necessity is the birth of invention, within five days of the CBN’s edict, Binance announced that it has launched a Peer to Peer market for Nigerian crypto traders while Buycoins also announced that deposts and withdrawals were available again for customers. Read: Mastercard will let merchants accept payments in crypto this year


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Tesla Buys Bitcoin

Staying with digital currencies, and with almost near perfect serendipitous timing, just two days after the CBN decried its use, this week saw Bitcoin jump by almost 20% at one point, thanks to some timely tweets from Tesla’s Elon Musk and the subsequent announcement that his car company had purchased $1.5Bn worth of Bitcoin. Oh - and he’s also pushing the price of Doge up too, Lion-king style. It will be interesting to see how regulators such as the SEC in the US will stomach such activity.


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NIN versus BVN

More on government and regulation, this time focusing on the ongoing National Identification Number (NIN) deadline issues, as Nigerians are congregating and queuing for hours, in high numbers, concerned about SIM registrations linked to NIN and losing their mobile numbers. As COVID numbers continue to rise in the country, the idea of expecting people to gather in groups and queue for their NIN has sparked concern amongst many - especially end-users, as revealed in a recent CNN package where Nigerians shared their frustration and concern with the current system. The saga has been further exacerbated by The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Pantami, prioritising NIN over BVN, stating in a press conference, “BVN is only applicable to those who have bank accounts but NIN is for every citizen and legal residents in the country."


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It’s the sixth week of 2021 and Kenyan clean energy startup, SunCulture has secured $11m debt funding. Egyptian proptech, Sakneen also raised $1.1m in funding. Here are the other deals for the week: Djamo secured $125,000 as a part of Y Combinator’s 2021 accelerator program. hearX received an undisclosed amount from FutureGrowth. Popote secured an undisclosed amount from Greenhouse Capital. Charis UAS raised an undisclosed amount from XM2 PURSUIT. Synatic secured an undisclosed amount of funding from UW Ventures. Xend Finance increased its funding round size to $2m. That's it for the week! Follow TC Insights for more updates


Written by - Jessica Hope

Edited by - Daniel Adeyemi & Edwin Madu


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