Binance crypto exchange is coordinating with Nigeria to establish a special economic zone, powered by the crypto sector. In a recent study by CoinGecko, Nigeria surfaced out to be the most crypto curious nation in the world, which may have intrigued Binance to explore an opportunity of expanding the digital assets sector in the country. Upon completion, this crypto hub in Nigeria will make for the only such entity to exist in all of West Africa. This initiative, backed by Binance, is also being supported by the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA).
This ‘Virtual Free Zone’, being planned by the US-based crypto exchange and NEPZA, intends to bring together blockchain and Web3 entrepreneurs from the African continent and accelerate development and adoption in the sectors.
“Our goal is to engender a flourishing virtual free zone to take advantage of a near trillion dollar virtual economy in blockchains and digital economy. We seek to break new grounds to widen economic opportunities for our citizens,” a Voice of Nigeria report quoted Adesoji Adesugba, Managing Director of NEPZA, as saying.
The crypto market in Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, and South Africa together saw 1,200 percent growth, reaching a market valuation of $105.6 billion (roughly Rs. 780 crores) in one year, a report by Chainalysis had claimed in September last year.
Research firm Triple-A estimates that over 13 million Nigerians owned cryptocurrencies in 2021. That makes for 6.3 percent of Nigeria’s total population.
This blockchain-focussed establishment in Nigeria could help the expanding crypto community in the region to dive deeper into the industry with start-ups and jobs as well.
Meanwhile, these kinds of special economic zones have begun to crop up in other parts of the world as well.
In the UAE, for instance, where Binance is a licenced crypto service provider, the Abu Dhabi-based ADGM plans to become the hub of crypto activities. It was first developed as a business hub on Al Maryah Island in 2013.
The Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) also claims to be the largest regulated jurisdiction of virtual assets in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regions.