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Reports say GIGM and GIGL are going crypto. What this means



Africa’s leading mobility and logistics companies (GIG Mobility and GIG Logistics) are reportedly reviewing their payment options to include digital currency.

Pointers to this development emerged last week necessitating discrete inquiries into what analysts consider both an innovative and potentially disruptive drive to improve customer experience at the forward-looking companies.

An internal source, with knowledge of the new direction, confirmed that GIGM and GIGL were perfecting their systems and processes for a launch, shortly, that would enable them tap into the growing cryptocurrency community in Nigeria.

Reports say GIGM and GIGL are going crypto. What this means

Both organizations, Ripples Nigeria authoritatively gathered, could become the first crypto-backed mobility companies in Nigeria as the integration processes are said to be nearing final stages.

“Extending a crypto wallet to our users aligns with our mission to propel freedom of movements and other economic/social activities leveraging technology. We want to give people the ability to move and do freely,” our source said.

Further probes failed to yield any information regarding when the crypto payment options would go live.

Snippets of the integration exercise suggest that GIGM and GIGL are embracing DeFi, a decentralized finance system in the blockchain space, to complement the central bank-regulated fiat currency, which has been driving the firm’s transactions.

Our source, however, hinted that they might not be integrating the usual crypto pack of Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin, but are instead developing a custom token which is expected to remain an interest-bearing asset for their one million combined users.

The innovation will provide the market-starved Nigerian crypto community a service they could disburse their digital coin on, as no company had offered to receive virtual asset as payment for transaction.

If eventually deployed, the token and crypto wallet might lead The GIG Group into making an inroad into financial services.

“Eventually both companies maybe able to allow users perform multiple functions like paying bills, transfer assets and money,” the source said.

Read also: GIGM joins effort against COVID-19 spread, offers to donate buses to Nigerian govt

GIG Logistics is following the footsteps of foreign logistics firms like TruckPay, Sino-Global, and Teahouse Transport who have embraced the new form of payment.

What this means

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Looking beyond CBN’s misgivings about DeFi, the innovation by the mobility companies has the potential to yield benefits for the Nigerian economy, and here is why:

In 2012, the financial regulator pledged to reduce the financially excluded to 20 percent by 2020. However, only 64 percent of Nigerian adults have been made financially inclusive so far, according to Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access (EFInA).

Though the CBN is behind its target by 38 million adults, it has now adjusted its goal to 95 percent by 2024. To achieve this feat, the apex bank may find the GIGM and GIGL road map a worthy path to tread.

This argument is strengthened by the fact that the seemingly disruptive move by GIGM and GIGL is capable of deepening financial inclusion among Nigerians, as both mobility companies and the CBN are national carriers offering services to the remotest areas in the country.

GIG Mobility and GIG Logistics are both subsidiaries of The GIG Group, a holding company with interests in key sectors of Nigeria’s economy.

Founded by Chidi Ajaere, the Group’s other business interests span Power Generation, Financial Services, and Oil and Gas.

By Dave Ibemere, Ayodeji Fakoyejo and Ridwan Lukman

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