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TechNigeria: A weekly digest of what went down in Nigeria’s tech space

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Despite CBN’s warning, Nigerians among top users of bitcoins

The week ended on a high note, with tension across the tech space when, on Friday, the Central Bank of Nigeria announced the henceforth banning of Bitcoin transactions.

Foreign investors, stakeholders and bitcoin vendors have continued to react to the new policy from the apex bank. The magnitude of the news nearly overrides other tech developments that happened during the week.

Below is a digest for the week, highlighting the major tech build up.

The crypto ban

Bitcoin: New world money, or biggest scam?

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Friday announced banning the use of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in Nigeria, a development foreign investors and stakeholders have described as an unfortunate step.

The news comes three months after the country became the second largest market in the world for bitcoin transactions, drawing more attention from concerned citizens and crypto traders.

Implementing the policy, declaring crypto deals illegal in Nigeria, the CBN directed financial companies operating in Nigeria to stop transactions relating to cryptocurrencies, citing its concern about risk associated to cryptocurrencies.

Mono enters Y Combinator

Although, not exactly surprising, Silicon Valley-based accelerator Y Combinator selected Nigerian fintech startup, Mono, into its Winter 2021 batch.

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The Fintech player, Mono, through the selection, banked US$125,000 funding and will benefit from other support.

What is quite surprising is that the startup is only 8 month old, as it was founded in August 2020 to help digital businesses in Africa access their customers’ financial and identity data.

COVID-19 startup accelerator programme

A partnership deal with Ventures Platform and Startupbootcamp AfriTech has seen UK-Nigeria Tech Hub launch the new iNOVO accelerator.

The accelerator seeks to invest in innovative ed-tech, agri-tech and e-health startups with proofs to be disruptive businesses solving challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The fully digital programme will leverage Startupbootcamp’s methodology through a two-pronged approach of accelerating 10 early-stage startups in Nigeria.

$25k for early-stage startups

Also, in the week, FirstCheck Africa, a female-focused angel fund, launched as a scheme to invest up to US$25,000 in women with bold entrepreneurial ideas.

This brings FirstCheck on a mission to advance equity, capital and leadership for a generation of women in Africa through technology and entrepreneurship.

More encouraging, the new initiative was launched by Endeavor Nigeria managing director Eloho Omame and PiggyVest co-founder Odunayo Eweniyi.

Remarks
These stories, and many others, made headlines during the week. Join us next week for another edition of TechNigeria.

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