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Haiti’s Prime Minister resigns amid deadly protests

July 14, 2018 |

Haiti’s Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant resigned Saturday amid protests sparked by a proposed hike in fuel prices.
CNN.com – RSS Channel – Regions – Americas

Fox Gets U.K. Approval to Buy Sky Amid Comcast Bidding War

July 12, 2018 |

The U.K. government won’t oppose a bid by Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox to consolidate ownership of Sky, removing the last regulatory hurdle for Fox as it battles it out with Comcast for the British broadcaster.
WSJ.com: US Business

Amid a Trio of Rare Books, a Toxic Find

July 10, 2018 |

If one were to handpick a career that guaranteed a safe work environment, librarian would seem a reasonable choice. A trio of books found at the University of Southern Denmark may have just upended that assumption as researchers discovered a possible toxic avenger from the Renaissance era. Experts were studying…
Newser

Boris Johnson Quits U.K. Government Amid Brexit Turmoil

July 9, 2018 |

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May was battling to overcome her biggest crisis since she lost her parliamentary majority in last year’s general election after Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson resigned.
WSJ.com: What’s News Europe

Tencent streaming spinoff to list shares in U.S. amid music industry comeback

July 8, 2018 |

Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s plan to spin off its online-music business and list shares in the U.S. is the latest sign that the long-beleaguered recording industry is finding its way to financial health.

The move will let American investors bet on the Chinese market for music-streaming services, which…


L.A. Times – Business

Dozens Dead, Millions Flee Amid Record Rainfall

July 8, 2018 |

Searches continued Sunday night for victims of heavy rainfall that hammered southern Japan for the third straight day, killing dozens and forcing 2 million to flee their homes, the AP and CNN report. Death tolls vary between around 50 and 85, while the Japanese broadcaster NHK says at least 58…
Newser

Airbus Chides Boeing Amid New Rivalry for Smaller Jets

July 8, 2018 |

European plane maker Airbus vowed to use what it sees as its first-mover advantage to push ahead of arch rival Boeing in the market for smaller passenger jets.
WSJ.com: US Business

Pompeo Will Return to DPRK Amid Denuclearization Doubts

July 2, 2018 |

The White House says Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will make another trip to North Korea as the Trump administration seeks agreement with Pyongyang on an acceptable denuclearization plan . Per the AP , press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced on Monday that Pompeo would travel to North Korea this week. The…
Newser

Bitcoin as Lifeline Amid Crushing Devaluation, Extreme Poverty, Sectarian Violence in Nigeria

June 27, 2018 |

Bitcoin as Lifeline Amid Crushing Devaluation, Extreme Poverty, Sectarian Violence in Nigeria

The scrappy citizens of Lagos, Nigeria are traders and can-do survivors almost by nature. Their government, however, has mismanaged the nation’s money to such a degree that it’s prone to wild devaluation swings. And while an argument could be made bitcoin too is volatile, it actually isn’t comparatively. With access to peer-to-peer exchanges such as Localbitcoins, Nigerians are revolutionizing even their traditional outdoor marketplaces, providing a financial oasis in rather dark times.

Also read: Supremes Uphold Cell Privacy, Hope for Ross Ulbricht

Lagos, Nigeria Finds Bitcoin is a Way to Hedge Against its Naira

“I can use Bitcoin for anything now […],” Soji, a Lagos web designer told Jeremy Kirshbaum and Pelumi Oguntemehin. “It means I can invest and also pay anybody currently, except old people, I will send them bitcoin. But some people think it is a scam to deal in Bitcoin and they also fear being hacked, as many people do not know how to protect themselves online.” Bitcoin is a handy way for Soji to gain overseas hosting services from vendors who simply won’t accept his country’s native fiat currency, Naira.

Bitcoin gets considerable flack in professional financial circles for its legendary volatility. Wild price swings can for sure occur, and have. However it is no match for Nigeria’s Naira. As Longhash explains, “Silas Okwoche is a self-taught engineer […]. He was the co-founder of a cell phone company called Nerve Mobile, which used Android smart phones from Shenzhen, China. Silas found a Chinese partner via the e-commerce platform Alibaba. Nerve Mobile’s venture was profitable for a time, but ended for a reason that had nothing to do with Silas’s product. The Nigerian Naira fell against the Chinese yuan by over 15%, and the hardware became too expensive. Silas’s story is not exceptional: Nigerian business people struggle with currency volatility every day,” the reporters insist.

Bitcoin as Lifeline Amid Crushing Devaluation, Extreme Poverty, Sectarian Violence in Nigeria
“The chart shows the levels of volatility of the Naira, Bitcoin, and Ethereum. At many points the Naira is more volatile than either of the two major cryptocurrencies.”

Nigeria rests on the African continent at its Western curve, hugging the Gulf of Guinea, a click North of the Equator. It’s bordered by four countries to its immediate East, as a kind of horseshoe with only the South Atlantic opening West. Lagos is the largest city in Nigeria, while also boasting being the highest concentrated city in Africa. It is one of the fastest growing cities in the world, according to many estimates. It routinely ranks as the highest in African GDP, acting as a financial center and bustling port. A rather wonderful examination of Lagos can be found in Robert Neuwirth’s presentation, “The power of the informal economy,” though admittedly a bit dated.

Present day sees the broader country as lagging behind even India in extreme poverty, as CNN reports, “Nigeria has overtaken India as the country with the largest number of people living in extreme poverty, with an estimated 87 million Nigerians, or around half of the country’s population, thought to be living on less than $ 1.90 a day […] In Nigeria, as with other countries on the continent, that figure is projected to rise. ‘By the end of 2018 in Africa as a whole, there will probably be about 3.2 million more people living in extreme poverty than there are today,’” according to researchers. All this, and with being the largest oil producer in Africa.

Crypto as an Oasis in Extreme Poverty, Sectarian Violence

As of this writing, central Nigeria has descended into sectarian violence. Reports are sketchy, but most outlets reveal scores of people have been killed as ethnic and religious tensions rise. Fifty houses have been destroyed, if local police are to be believed. And these tensions have been brewing at least since 2013 between herdsmen and farmers.

Lagos, then, becomes a beacon of hope in a sea of economic and sectarian devastation. The settling of bitcoin in terms of price, the sideways action of recent weeks, has ironically allowed more businesspeople of Lagos to onramp into crypto. It’s also tamped down scams. “Currently, most Ponzi scheme traders are out of the market as they were only there for profit only, now that Bitcoin is stable and the profit margin is small, we will witness a gradual growth and diverse application of blockchain tech solutions,” Toyosi, investor and crypto trader, told Longhash.

Bitcoin as Lifeline Amid Crushing Devaluation, Extreme Poverty, Sectarian Violence in Nigeria

Jeremy Kirshbaum and Pelumi Oguntemehin note “it is hard for a cryptocurrency to act as both a speculative asset and a currency. Countries like Nigeria that suffer from high volatility or institutional uncertainty actually need Bitcoin to act as a medium of exchange.” Traders such as Toyosi turn to remittance tokens such as Sure Remit, hoping to reduce overall costs. “Sure Remit,” they explain, “uses a cryptographic token as an alternative for sending money home from abroad. When people are using cryptocurrency for normal transactions and the value is more stable, Sure Remit can provide a more useful service.”

The key is contending with its fiat currency, Naira. Its flash devaluations add “another layer of uncertainty to businesses that purchase goods or components from abroad. That’s why Nigeria presents the perfect use case for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin,” Longhash stresses. Another tech businessman, Temo, “works on hardware ventures and he buys his components from China. When he does this, the most convenient option is to purchase Bitcoins on Localbitcoins.com or another peer-to-peer marketplace using Naira, and then sell them for Chinese yuan. It is much faster than using normal channels, and costs a fraction of the price. If he uses a normal bank transfer, he will be charged huge fees by both the sending bank in Nigeria and the receiving bank in China. Also, it can take up to a week for the wire transfer to move the money.”

Do you think countries like Nigeria will continue to benefit from using cryptocurrency? Let us know in the comments. 


Images via the Pixabay, Longhash.


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH, and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

The post Bitcoin as Lifeline Amid Crushing Devaluation, Extreme Poverty, Sectarian Violence in Nigeria appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

House Republicans Delay Immigration Vote Amid Infighting

June 21, 2018 |

House Republican leaders abruptly postponed voting on a compromise immigration measure amid ongoing infighting between conservative and moderates, the AP reports. Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s office confirmed the decision. Voting that had been expected Thursday now would be held Friday instead. That’s according to aides who demanded anonymity because they…
Newser