Africa and the Middle East

Welcome to another weekly blockchain news roundup from around the world. Here, we present to you all the latest Bitcoin news, continent by continent and country by country.

African Union

Paxful Reports Increase in Cryptocurrency Usage in Africa: African countries including Ghana and Nigeria are reporting a considerable increase in cryptocurrency trading activities according to data from Paxful with both of these countries ranked among the top ten in the world for crypto adoption. In some parts of the continent, the crypto adoption increased two-folds with increased enthusiasm among the younger sections of the population.

It is expected that next year will be bigger and better for the cryptocurrency scene in the continent where microfinance has a big future and many people are underbanked with no access to mobile accounts.

Nigeria

Experts Believe Cryptocurrencies can Boost Economy in the Country: Experts based in Africa’s biggest economy believe that cryptocurrencies have the ability to transform the economic landscape of the country. They made their views known in a recent Luno Conference in the country that hosted some of the top professionals in the sector.

According to Lucky Uwakwe, the CEO of Blockchain Solutions Limited, cryptocurrency awareness was increasing in the region and he thought the country should step up in the market because cryptocurrencies are the future. Nigerian blockchain expert Owenize Odia believes that the right regulation is needed in the country to help cement trust and lend authenticity to the sector.

Dash to Increase Merchant and Exchange Integrations: Digital currency Dash is making new inroads in Nigeria as the privacy and crowdsourcing-centric cryptocurrency has added two new merchants and is offering discounts for paying with the cryptocurrency through these merchants.

The two stores are Qualymart and CryptoStorez, both Nigerian e-commerce solutions. Qualymart is offering a whopping 20% discount on Dash payments while Cryptostorez offers 5%.

Turkey

Bitcoin’s Popularity is Growing: Bitcoin’s trading volumes have soared up to 37% in Turkey since October this year despite the eventual lifting of sanctions after a diplomatic deadlock ended in recent months. The increased usage of LocalBitcoins.com and other P2P cryptocurrency trading platforms mean that people are interested in the new digital class and are willing to invest in it to circumnavigate the effects of inflation in the country.

The millennial population is the one most prone to investing in the new sector.

United Arab Emirates

Government Looking to Introduce New Crypto Regulations by early 2019: The government of UAE is looking to introduce comprehensive cryptocurrency regulation in the country by the first half of 2019, according to local media reports. The new regulations will introduce common sense regulations for the industry and will look to make the country the most dominant player in the Arab world and even across the globe.

According to Hans Fraikin, the CEO of Libra Project:

“The UAE is perfectly positioned to be a global leader in the ICO space. If they succeed as planned, they will be at the forefront of this new burgeoning global securities sector.”

ICOs are also expected to be allowed in the regulation and will result in major coin-related businesses coming to UAE’s shores.

Iran

American Government Looking to Counter Iran’s Efforts of Using Cryptocurrencies: The US is stepping up its efforts to enforce further sanctions on Iran by blacklisting its new cryptocurrency projects and suspicious wallets. A new bill presented in the House of Representatives by Mike Gallagher (Wisconsin) aims to prevent Iran from creating a new cryptocurrency.

The Blocking Iran Illicit Finance Act will enable the US administration of Donald Trump to take further action on enforcing sanctions.

According to the proposed bill:

All transactions related to, provision of financing for, and other dealings in Iranian digital currency by a United States person or within the United States are prohibited.”

The US unilaterally withdrew from a Nuclear deal with Iran and has since come out on the offensive against the Middle Eastern country whose population is opening up to cryptocurrencies as a way to circumnavigate the imposed sanctions and their economic effects.

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