The biggest cryptocurrency fraud that took place in 2020 was a rude awakening for South Africa’s regulator and not everyone is waiting to see how it all plays out. As major financial hubs such as Singapore rewrite laws and regulations to entice crypto firms, and the United Kingdom government faces calls to start embracing virtual currencies, South Africa’s rapidly growing transactions say they are being forced to relocate their headquarters refers to speculation. About potential state regulation.
A lack of monitoring and restrictions on marketing to potential consumers are to blame for the dissatisfaction. Revix, a Cape-Town-based company that specializes in currency bundles, is relocating its headquarters to the United Kingdom and establishing a second site in Germany to support its expansion. Luno is Africa’s largest digital currency platform, with offices in London and Singapore.
In an interview, Sean Sanders who is a Revix Chief Executive Officer noted that South African regulators have been very sluggish in regards to regulation in the industry, and that leads to firms going overseas. In an unregulated environment, a consumer is entitled to be skeptical of their platform. With Elon Musks’ investing $1.5 billion and billionaire hedge-fund managers endorsing the currency, digital currencies are becoming increasingly popular on a daily basis. Bitcoin reached a high of more than $58,000 last month before reversing some of its gains, establishing itself as a hedge against inflation risk just as concerns about price pressures grow.
The recent year has been very important and challenging for the crypto-industry and the friendly regulatory framework in South Africa created a good environment for the companies to operate in the country. However, the lighter regulations resulted in troubles for not only brokerage companies that provide people with service, but for the crypto betting companies in South Africa who are now concerned about their activities as well. However, in a watershed moment for the sector, a suspected Ponzi scam in South Africa may have led investors to lose up to $1.2 billion in the world’s most renowned cryptocurrency.
Scam of the Year
Mirror Trading Holdings was put into contractionary territory and blockchain experts have since called it the world’s greatest crypto crime of the year. The company is said to have amassed over 23,000 bitcoin from investors, and its CEO is said to have gone to Brazil. Earle Loxton, CEO of Digital Currency Index, a company he founded with the help of former FirstRand Ltd. CEO Michael Jordaan stated that South Africa has a terrible history of pyramid and Ponzi scams, and crypto was the natural new structure for this. Regulation is welcomed by honest operations because it allows their clients to invest with trust, particularly at the organizational level.
South Africa may frustrate its entrepreneurs, but it is viewed as a forerunner in the industry in comparison to the rest of the continent since authorities and businesses are collaborating on suggestions. Plans to regulate the industry in Nigeria have been put on hold until operators create a bank account in the West African country. According to Brandon Topham, head of compliance at the Finance Sector in South Africa, the goal for South African authorities is to improve consumer rights rather than corporate security. In the next two months, he expects more offers.
South Africa’s main banks have all endorsed regulatory attempts to establish a framework for crypto belongings, but their approaches to sector players are currently divided. Standard Bank Group Ltd has not prohibited crypto-asset businesses from all of the operations while FirstRnad’s first national bank has no financial connections with digital forex or dealers, according to emailed responses.
According to Sanders, South Africa’s crypto businesses find it difficult to remote on Facebook and Twitter since they are unregulated. As a result, their growth possibilities are hampered. The claims that the lack of policy has harmed South Africa’s revenue collection function, since relocating head offices necessitates paying tax in many nations.
According to Luno CEO Marius Reitz, the lack of a legislative framework had made it impossible for crypto platforms to maintain bank accounts. As a result, buyers will find it extremely difficult to purchase Bitcoin using their local fiat currency. There are indications that things are moving to the correct path. The regulator has issued draft regulations that would allow crypto assets to be classified as financial products. However, Sanders warns that doing so risks overlooking crypto’s novelty appeal.
South Africa appears to be going the other way as some of the more advanced market pioneers and innovators in this space. It appears that authorities are being laid by applying hundred-year-old securities laws to the innovative bitcoin asset class.
Estate Surveyors Reject Housing Deficit Report
The Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) has disagreed with the report of housing deficit in Nigeria, insisting that there is no proof to justify the report.
The institution also corroborated the assertion of the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, that Nigeria does not have a 17 million housing deficit.
A recent report had indicated that there are 17 million housing deficit in Nigeria.
President of NIESV, Emma OkasWike, who faulted the report in an interaction with newsmen, Monday, said the body was in full agreement with the minister’s statement and position on the matter.
“We are in total agreement with the minister on the unreliability of the 17 million housing deficit being brandished in Nigeria for lacking scientific proof.
“We are using this opportunity to reaffirm the importance of data bank and our commitment to the provision of a property data bank for all state capitals and major cities in Nigeria”, NIESV president said.
Wike, however, agreed that there are more demands in housing sector due to mass movement from rural areas to urban centres, adding that when demand exceeds supply, there will be scarcity.
He said that the solution to the problem lies in having accurate data of empty houses in the cities, which could assist in further planning.
The NIESV president hinted that his institution had been challenged to come up with accurate data on the housing issue, pointing out that such data would help solving the housing problem.
“We have laws in this country, and law is not the problem; it is not enough to say repeal the law, but the implementation is the problem.
“The communities fighting over land, resulted in enacting the Land Use Act, and every section of the Land Use Act has been interpreted by the Supreme Court. The administration of the law is the problem we have in this country, but not the law perse”, he said.
By: Corlins Walter
FG To Shut Ikorodu Terminal Over Explosive Overtime Cargoes
Strong indications have emerged that the Federal Government may shut down the Ikorodu Lighter Terminal in Lagos over the recent alarm raised by the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) on some explosive overtime cargoes.
Members of the Governing Board, NPA, had recently expressed worries over some overtime cargoes that have been abandoned for over 44 years at the facility, even as they called on management of the Nigeria Customs Service to expedite actions to evacuate some of the detained consignments.
Speaking with our correspondent recently on the next line of actions by the NPA Board in furtherance to the evacuation of the dangerous cargoes, one of the board members, Hon. Ghazali Mohammed Mijinyawa, said government might shut down the facility due to high risk involved.
The board member reiterated that the explosive cargoes pose serious threat to the facility and the nation, adding that it would be wise for government to shut down the terminal and give rooms for the evacuation of such items.
According to him, the executive board of NPA will hold a retreat to determine the next line of actions on Ikorodu Lighter Terminal in Lagos.
“The executive management would have a retreat and I wouldn’t tell you what the retreat is all about but in two weeks time, we are going to shut the port terminal at Ikorodu and that is what we are going to do”, he reaffirmed.
On the issue of revoking the licenses of some terminal operators, Mijinyawa said plans were afoot to review the port concession agreement in order to be fair to all parties involved in the process of renewal.
Mijinyawa who is also the chairman, Seaport Concession, NPA, pointed out that the terminal operators had testified that NPA was committed to the concession agreement and would further ensure fair play to all parties involved in the renewal process.
He said, “We have to sit down and have a review of everything and of course if there are those worthy of renewal we just have to give them that opportunity but for the ones that have defaulted, it is better you find out why they default before any necessary actions because you just have to strike a balance.
“It’s not a matter of I am not going to renew the agreement but to find out why are they not functioning properly. Is it because of the Covid? Is it the NPA defaulting? Is it them defaulting? So, you just have to go through the documents and see for yourself before you make a judgment of that; so that we can be fair to all parties”.
According to him, the terminal operators appreciated the efforts of the NPA on the working relationship between stakeholders as against the backdrop of port operations since 2006.
By: NkpemenyieMcdominic, Lagos
CBN Not Supporting Solid Minerals Dev – Minister
The Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, DrUche Ogah, has alleged that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has not been supporting the development of the mines and solid mineral sector in the country.
The minister made the allegation at a two-day public hearing organised by the Senate Committee on Solid Minerals, Mines, Steel Development and Metallurgy.
The forum was aimed at getting inputs of stakeholders to the contents of four bills on how to achieve rapid development of the solid minerals sector.
The bills are Nigerian Minerals Development Corporation Establishment Bill 2021, Solid Minerals Producing Areas Development Commission Establishment Bill 2021, Institute of Bitumen Management Establishment Bill 2021, and the Explosive Act 1964 Repeal and Re-enactment Bill 2021.
The panel is also expected to investigate the loss of $9 billion annually due to illegal mining and smuggling of gold.
Ogah said, “It is unfortunate that the Central Bank of Nigeria did not believe in us. If they believe in us, if they support us the way they are supporting agriculture, we will do wonders for this country.
“This is one ministry that is untapped, that is unknown, that can change the landscape of our revenue.”
The minister said there was need to support research for growth of the sector.
According to him, “Equally, we need to ask the Ministry of Finance to speed up the export policy on solid minerals because that is the only way to have operators into the sector”.
Ogah urged citizens to be involved in checking the activities of intruders in the mining sub-sector.
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