Cryptocurrencies affecting the world


In 2008 an unknown person or group of people under the name of 'Satoshi Nakamoto' birthed Cryptocurrency as a means of online keeping or transacting money. But it was not until the 9th of January 2009 that the first decentralized Cryptocurrency was introduced, Bitcoin. Thereby bringing the world to the notice of online money. Well, Cryptocurrency didn't just start now, in 1983 David Chaum an American Cryptographer made an anonymous cryptographic electronic money called 'ecash'. In 1995 he changed it to 'Digicash' that uses useful software that allows you to withdraw money from banks. Other early forms of Cryptocurrency or Crypto-like forms were introduced like b-money by Wei Dai in 1998 later nicknamed bit-gold by Nick Szabo. 

But it wasn't till 2009 when Bitcoin was introduced that it was noticed worldwide, at a low value that equaled $0, Bitcoin has grown to an estimated US$1.149 trillion in recent surveys. Since the other forms of Cryptocurrency like Ethereum, Dogecoin, Litecoin, Namecoin, Ripple amongst others have come up and loads of Cryptocurrency lovers have bought thousands of these coins. Although it hasn't been smooth for Cryptocurrency in 2014, the UK government launched an investigation into the authenticity of Cryptocurrency, and by 10 January 2021, the government-mandated all Cryptocurrency based or Cryptocurrency user organizations to register with the Financial Conduct Authority ( FCA) but banned the biggest Cryptocurrency exchange platform, Binance from operating in the UK. Countries like China, Turkey, Nigeria have also banned Cryptocurrency exchange as the volatility of it is excess and their government can't regulate it due to its anonymity. The USA has launched further investigation into it. 

Due to some bans, Cryptocurrency fell heavily as Bitcoin deep about 31%, Ethereum about 44%, Binance about 32%, Dogecoin about 30%. Despite this increased number of bans and stricter regulations, El Salvador became the first country to have adopted Cryptocurrency as a form of legal tender on the 9th of June 2021, with Cuba also following suit in August 2021. South Korea didn't ban Crypto but instead increased regulation and made stricter regulations to watch the movements in the Crypto World. There have been cases of lost coins, like in South Africa two strong components of Cryptocurrency disappeared, 'Africrypt, Raees Cajee and Ameer Cajee' and 'Mirror Trading International' disappeared with $3.8 billion worth of Bitcoin and $170 million worth of cryptocurrency respectively in January 2021.

Despite Nigerian financial body CBN banning banks from any Cryptocurrency related activities, there has been a spike in the number of Nigerian traders in the Cryptocurrency world with Nigeria finding ways to convert Naira to other currencies and then to Cryptocurrency and doing vice versa. After the recent recession in the country and the immaculate fall of the Naira against foreign currencies, Nigerians looked for other means to save their money from further devaluations. Scores of Nigerians have complained of frozen bank accounts because of Cryptocurrency related activities and such banks do not give cogent reasons behind the frozen assets. Some non-crypto currency user bodies in Nigeria have complained that the increase in Cryptocurrency in Nigeria has hurt the economy and further damage the value of the Naira against other currencies. The rate of people changing Naira to Dollars or other currencies to be able to do Cryptocurrency has increased significantly and this may become a trend since the Nigerian government does not term Cryptocurrency as a legal tender. 

After the initial due of Cryptocurrency in Nigeria in January 2017 by CBN. The financial body has re-issued a warning in February 2021 to all banks from approving or receiving any Cryptocurrency activities and also to identify accounts that are engaged in such. The body argued that Cryptocurrency breaks the Nigerian Cyber Crime (Prohibition, Prevention) Act 2015, all financial institutions, including Fintech companies, must verify the identity of customers involved in electronic transactions, integrate and implement know-your-customer (KYC) processes, and keep all subscriber data safe for two (2) years. However, these movements have only made traders wittier with apps like Paystacks coming in handy as they can now convert their Naira to foreign currencies like the US Dollar and then to the Cryptocurrency they want. A recent survey has shown that the increase in Cryptocurrency activities in Nigeria has soared above 25% and it's on a steady increase even with the enormous risks it poses. 

This all begs the question, 'Is Nigeria lagging not declaring Cryptocurrency a legal tender'? Would the legalization of Cryptocurrency improve the economy and help the growth of Naira against the Dollar? These are all questions to ponder... Stay tuned on to find out.

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