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East African Community To Decide On Regional Central Bank Launch In 2023

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East African Community To Decide On Regional Central Bank Launch In 2023

The East African Community (EAC) will decide during the course of the year 2023 when and where it will locate the envisioned regional central bank, the regional intergovernmental organization’s Peter Mathuki has reportedly said. The setting up of the regional central bank is expected to help the EAC achieve its goal of attaining a single currency regime in three years.

Location of the Regional Central Bank

As the East African Community (EAC) inches towards its single currency regime objective, a top official said the regional intergovernmental organization would decide when and where it will locate the planned regional central bank in 2023. According to a report, the financial institution, which will be known as the East African Monetary Institute (EAMI), is seen as an establishment that is vital to implementing a single currency regime.

According to Peter Mathuki, the EAC secretary general, the organization’s council of ministers is expected to deliberate on the location of the regional central bank.

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“The EAMI will be in place this year in what will allow us to harmonize member states’ fiscal and monetary policies, then in about three years we will have a common currency in place,” Mathuki reportedly said.

Once the regional currency is implemented, the EAC will move closer to its objective of enhanced movement of businesses and persons within the region. This, in turn, will ostensibly boost intra-regional trade, which stood at $10.17 billion by September 2022.

Eliminating Non-Tariff Trade Barriers

As previously reported by Bitcoin.com News, the EAC, which consists of seven African countries, hopes to have a single currency in place by 2024. The same report also revealed that member states had explored the possibility of having a central bank digital currency replace the moribund East African Payment System (EAPS).

Meanwhile, in addition to helping to ease the movement of businesses and persons within the region, the EAC leadership has also held discussions on how the organization can eliminate non-tariff trade barriers. As noted in the report, a total of 257 non-tariff barriers (NTB) have been solved since 2007.

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Terence Zimwara

Terence Zimwara is a Zimbabwe award-winning journalist, author and writer. He has written extensively about the economic troubles of some African countries as well as how digital currencies can provide Africans with an escape route.

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Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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South African Retailer Pick N Pay Now Accepting Payments Via BTC At All Its Stores

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South African Retailer Pick N Pay Now Accepting Payments Via BTC At All Its Stores

Pick n Pay, one of South Africa’s leading retailers, reportedly now accepts bitcoin as payment at all its stores across the country. Using the bitcoin lightning network, Pick n Pay’s customers can now buy items such as groceries, airtime and electricity tokens.

Using BTC for Everyday Purchases

Just a few months after it began accepting bitcoin payments at selected outlets, the South African retailer, Pick n Pay (PNP) now reportedly accepts bitcoin at its more than 1,500 stores across the country. According to reports, PNP customers can now buy groceries, airtime and electricity using the bitcoin lightning network.

As reported by Bitcoin.com News in Nov. 2022, the South African retail giant’s acceptance of bitcoin as a means of payment was made possible by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA)’s decision to declare crypto a financial product. Before that, PNP said it had experimented with BTC payments at one of its staff canteens in 2017. While the experiments were successful the retailer said using the technology was at that time seemingly not cost-effective.

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BREAKING: 🇿🇦 One of South Africa’s largest retailers, Pick n Pay, now officially accepts #Bitcoin and Lightning payments in ALL of its over 1,500 stores 🙌

— Bitcoin Magazine (@BitcoinMagazine) February 1, 2023

Reacting to the announcement, Crypto QR, a South Africa-based crypto payments firm, saluted PNP’s move which allows residents to use bitcoin for everyday purchases.

“Good news, everyone! Crypto QR is now active at all Pick-n-Pay stores across South Africa, including PnP express and clothing shops! You can also buy airtime and electricity, plane and bus tickets, and pay your municipal bills with Bitcoin at the till, “Crypto QR said in a tweet.

The Legitimate Use of Bitcoin in a Store

Meanwhile, some Twitter users have lauded PNP for taking a step that helps those seeking to promote the use and adoption of bitcoin as an alternative payment method. One user Kelly Yanes said this is the first time she has “seen legitimate uses of bitcoin in person at a public space and store.”

Until BTC stabilizes in price using it to buy things is a horrible idea. Seconds after you buy something it can go up and you overpaid a ton

— NoFilterNoFluff (@7th_Rule) February 2, 2023

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However, a few other users were quick to highlight the disadvantages of using the crypto asset for everyday purchases.

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Terence Zimwara

Terence Zimwara is a Zimbabwe award-winning journalist, author and writer. He has written extensively about the economic troubles of some African countries as well as how digital currencies can provide Africans with an escape route.

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Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons, Editorial photo credit: Sunshine Seeds / Shutterstock.com

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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Nigerian Crypto Users And Enthusiasts Dismiss 100% BTC Premium Claims

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Nigerian Crypto Users And Enthusiasts Dismiss 100% BTC Premium Claims

Nigerian blockchain and crypto enthusiasts have said recent reports suggesting that local residents are paying a premium of almost 100% on top of the prevailing price of bitcoin “are totally false.” They argue that such reports are based on a claim that is being propagated by persons who do not fully grasp the dynamics in the country and should therefore be ignored.

Supposed 100% BTC Premium Generates Global Interest

Some Nigerian crypto and blockchain users and enthusiasts have said recent reports suggesting that the value of BTC on local crypto exchanges is nearly double the prevailing U.S. dollar value are totally false. According to the users, the reports are based on tweets posted by social media users who do not fully understand how Nigerian residents use local crypto exchange platforms.

Look how much Nigerians are paying for #Bitcoin right now on @paxful pic.twitter.com/WxAam58mWR

— 🧡NEEDcreations is stacking sats & jamming to EDM (@NEEDcreations) January 30, 2023

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The pushback by the Nigerian enthusiasts and influencers came as the claim, which was reportedly sparked by a single tweet, continues to generate interest among bitcoiners. In their initial tweet thread, the user shared a screenshot which suggested that Nigerians are buying one BTC on the peer-to-peer platform Paxful at $47,924.

The user also claimed that the recent cash withdrawal restrictions imposed by the Nigerian central bank have seen many residents swap their naira for BTC. This has helped push up the crypto asset’s U.S. dollar value, the user argued.

However, in his reaction to the tweet and the subsequent media reports, Benjamin Eseoghene, the CEO of local crypto exchange Roqqu, told Bitcoin.com News that while price discrepancies do exist, it is simply not true that bitcoin is trading above $47,000 in Nigeria.

“This is totally false, we’re trading at normal price, tho there’s some speculation around the crash of dollar rate after the general elections, maybe by then there can be some premium, but likely nowhere near 100%,” Eseoghene insisted.

The Roqqu CEO also suggested that some of the social media users propagating this claim are only doing so to sell a certain narrative.

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False Representation

Meanwhile, on Twitter, some Nigerian users insisted that the widely circulating screenshot is misleading and that no one is buying the crypto at over $47,000. Others, like Nathaniel Luz, an author and crypto advocate, bemoaned how a single tweet can easily be used to spread “half-truths and one-sided stories.”

Nigerians are paying 48k for one #Bitcoin and you are waiting for 10k in your 1st world luxury surroundings watching Netflix. Ya, sure, you are the smart one.

— John W. Creasy (💫☝️) (@21milinfinity) January 30, 2023

Luz also said the persons using BTC values on Paxful to propagate the 100% premium claims do not understand how Nigerians use the P2P (peer-to-peer) platform.

“This is not even the price on Paxful. I was the Product Manager in charge of Payment Methods at Paxful. The PM here is ‘Game Items’ not fiat money. Game items mean I want to exchange a FIFA 23 voucher for BTC. You get? It’s a false representation,” Luz said.

According to Luz, there is no crypto exchange where Nigerians pay a premium of 20% on the price of BTC.

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Terence Zimwara

Terence Zimwara is a Zimbabwe award-winning journalist, author and writer. He has written extensively about the economic troubles of some African countries as well as how digital currencies can provide Africans with an escape route.

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Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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Nigeria Extends Deadline For Returning Soon-To-Be Demonetized Naira Banknotes

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Nigeria Extends Deadline For Returning Soon-To-Be Demonetized Naira Banknotes

After initially ignoring pleas to extend the period for returning old naira banknotes, the Nigerian central bank recently said it has shifted the deadline for returning old banknotes to Feb. 10. The bank’s governor, Godwin Emefiele, said some 30,000 so-called super agents have been deployed nationwide to help with the cash-swapping process.

CBN Governor Says Currency Swapping Exercise Has Been a Success

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently said it had extended the deadline for returning the old naira banknotes by ten more days. In his Jan. 29 press statement, CBN governor Godwin Emefiele said while the exercise has been a success, shifting the deadline date from Jan. 31 to Feb. 10 helps the bank achieve success in rural communities.

The announcement follows weeks of pleas by residents who wanted to be granted more time to return the soon-to-be demonetized naira banknotes. The announcement of the extension also came just a few days after a Bitcoin.com News report suggested that some Nigerian banks were still distributing the old notes.

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To ensure the CBN’s objectives are achieved before the old banknotes are removed from circulation, Emefiele said the central bank’s staff along with their counterparts from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) were mobilizing and monitoring the process. In addition, the governor said some 30,000 so-called super agents had been deployed nationwide to help with the cash-swapping process in regions underserved by banks.

CBN Targets Rural Communities

Commenting on the central bank’s success so far, Emefiele said:

We are happy that so far, the exercise has achieved a success rate of over 75% of the N2.7 trillion [$5.86 billion] held outside the banking system.

The governor also said it aimed to give residents with genuinely earned money an opportunity to deposit their legitimately trapped monies at the CBN for exchange.

Meanwhile, in his statement, Emefiele, who has been accused of funding terrorists, insisted the central bank’s goal is not only to enhance the effectiveness of its monetary policy but to aid Nigerian security agencies in their fight against bandits and kidnappers. By demonetizing the old banknotes, the CBN will be sticking to its mandate of redesigning its currency every five to eight years, Emefiele added.

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Terence Zimwara is a Zimbabwe award-winning journalist, author and writer. He has written extensively about the economic troubles of some African countries as well as how digital currencies can provide Africans with an escape route.

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