ProBit Bits — ProBit Global’s Weekly Blockchain Bits Vol. 2

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In this edition of ProBit Bits, crypto adoption stands out as the theme for key events and happenings recapped.

 Nigeria Ranks High for Crypto Ownership

33.4 million Nigerians — or 35% of the population aged 18 to 60 — own or have traded cryptocurrencies in the past six months, according to a new report by crypto exchange KuCoin.

The Into The Cryptoverse Report finds that 65% of the sampled Nigerian crypto investors engage in fiat-to-crypto peer-to-peer trading and about 70% of them plan to increase their crypto investments over the next six months.

While the report suggests digital asset adoption in Nigeria is moving fast, the Luno crypto platform puts Nigeria’s average first deposit on its exchange at $10 while the African average is at $53. On the other hand, Triple-A puts Nigeria’s total crypto owners at 13 million (or 6.31% of the entire population). It adds that the African country has the highest number of people searching for “Bitcoin” and “crypto” keywords on Google.

 Germany Becoming Friendlier to Crypto

Another country-specific version of the report also shares that 16% of the German population aged between 18 to 60 has either invested, held, or participated in trading crypto in the past six months.

41% of that segment plan to increase their share of crypto investments over six months while another 13% of curious Germans plan to invest in crypto in the next six months — though only 23% of them stated that they are highly likely to do so.

Among other findings, the development in Germany’s crypto landscape has seen the country upgraded on Coincub’s Q1 2022 ranking of 46 countries. Germany is now first on the list of the most crypto-friendly countries ahead of Singapore and the U.S.

 Access to Lightning Network Spikes by Almost 80,000% in a Year

From 100,000 to 80 million, the number of people with access to the Lightning Network (LN) has risen sharply between last summer and March 2022, according to an estimate by Arcane Research.

The payment layer, which enables millions of people to send fractions of a Bitcoin instantly and simultaneously, also saw over 400% growth in the value of its payments signaling a potential to improve the financial inclusion of an estimated more than two billion unbanked people worldwide.

The Arcane study adds that LN can also make remittance payments cheaper, cutting out a large portion of the $40 billion (or 6.4% of the total $600 billion sent) lost each year to money transfer companies as remittance fees.

 Dubai Getting the Crypto Attention

Crypto and blockchain firms make up almost a fifth of new companies registered in Dubai for the first quarter of 2022, according to the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) which has reported Q1 2022 to be its highest-performing since its inception in 2002.

The Free Zone on commodities trade and enterprise says its best quarter in two decades saw a 13% year-on-year increase, a 25% 5-year average increase, and 665 new companies registered — 16% (or about 106) of which were for crypto-related activities.

While the DMCC Crypto Centre was launched in May 2021, some related events brought the crypto world’s attention to Dubai of late as the United Arab Emirates strives to become a global crypto hub. Dubai in March approved a new law to govern virtual asset trading and custody services and formed the Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA). The city also hosted the second edition of Crypto Expo Dubai in March.

 Crypto Regulation ‘Tide is Turning’ Globally

Executives of major crypto brands expressed their views that the crypto market regulators including the UAE, the U.S., and Britain are taking a more positive approach to digital currencies.

The tide is turning from negative to positive, says Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, while the co-founder of crypto wallet maker, Nicolas Cary, says the global regulatory landscape is coming up to speed. Arthur Breitman, a co-founder of Tezos blockchain, thinks “they’re starting to take it seriously…”.

Their views come as the U.K. government announced plans to bring on stablecoins as a method of payment at a local level following the U.S. signing an executive order for a whole-of-government approach to digital assets.

 Crypto for Good or Bad, Ukraine Praises Donations While Wikimedia Wants Out

Ukraine continues to benefit from crypto donations as the war with Russia rages on. The Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Transformation, Mykhailo Fedorov, highlighted another crypto intervention for those on the frontline as he praises the delivery of some military equipment.

The crypto donation effort in Ukraine is led by @_AidForUkraine which has become the fifth-largest charitable foundation in the country as it has raised over $100 million so far.

The Wikimedia community, on the other hand, has requested that its foundation stop accepting cryptocurrency donations. There was overwhelming community support for the proposal — 232 to 94 (or 71.17%) — to stop accepting cryptocurrencies as the global movement for free educational content appears to be distancing itself from the space due to related issues of environmental sustainability and protecting its image.

The Wikimedia Foundation currently accepts donations in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum.

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