Nigerians – both users and startups – involved in cryptocurrency will lose out on a new Bitcoin investment which Twitter founder, Jack Dorsey and American rapper, Shawn “Jay Z” Carter plan to channel into African countries and India.
Jay Z and Dorsey joined forces to set up a bitcoin trust to provide financial support for the development of bitcoin in Africa and India.
The collaboration between both entrepreneurs comes amid growing acceptance of cryptocurrency among citizens in Nigeria and other African countries.
The new fund vehicle established by Dorsey and Jay Z is called Btrust, with ‘B’ taking the shape of the bitcoin logo.
In a statement released by Dorsey through his Twitter account, it was disclosed that 500 bitcoins will be donated into Btrust.
Dorsey and Jay Z will not be involved in the operation of Btrust, which will house the 500 bitcoin (which is about $23 million).
Ripples Nigeria gathered that Btrust will be set up as a blind irrevocable trust.
“JAY-Z/@S_C_ and I are giving 500 BTC to a new endowment named ₿trust to fund #Bitcoin development, initially focused on teams in Africa & India. It‘ll be set up as a blind irrevocable trust, taking zero direction from us”, the statement reads.
Although, Dorsey didn’t name the time for the investment vehicle to kickoff, but with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) ban on bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies still in effect until further notice, it’s unlikely for Nigeria to be a beneficiary of the investment, as banks already began to close accounts of individuals and companies involved in cryptocurrency in the past years.
At a time governments in South Africa, Ghana and Kenya are either supporting the bitcoin community with measures that could reduce risk involved or leaving bitcoin stakeholders to operate without government restrictions, the Nigerian government, through the CBN, has been clamping down on bitcoin exchanges and users in the country.
Nigeria is the largest market for bitcoin in Africa and second in the world on Paxful as of December 2020, but the CBN had stated that banks should shutdown cryptocurrency accounts.
This makes it difficult for investment like that of Dorsey and Jay Z to be infused into Nigerian market.
This is the argument of cryptocurrency stakeholders when the CBN banned the digital assets, with many stating that the ban will prevent local and foreign investment in the Nigerian market.
Tech funder, Victor Asemota, had been critical of the directive. The Senate on Thursday, also criticized the CBN, summoning the Apex bank governor, Godwin Emefiele to the upper chamber for questioning.
Meanwhile, Dorsey also revealed in his statement that to hit the ground running, “We need 3 board members to start.” He tweeted, while accompanying his comment with a form for individuals interested in joining the Btrust team.
By Fakoyejo Olalekan….
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