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Binance Partners With Nigerian Authorities to Launch Dubai-Like Digital Economic Zone

Major crypto exchange Binance is expanding its presence in Africa by launching a partnership with Nigeria’s authorities to build a Dubai-like digital economic zone.

"Our goal is to engender a flourishing virtual free [zone] to take advantage of a near trillion dollar virtual economy in blockchains and digital economy," Adesoji Adesugba, Managing Director of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority, was quoted as saying in a statement. No further details about the project were provided.

Last year, a report released by blockchain analysis company Chainalysis ranked Nigeria as the sixth country in the Global Crypto Adoption Index, preceded by Vietnam, India, Pakistan, Ukraine, and Kenya, respectively.

In late October 2021, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari launched a central bank digital currency (CBDC), eNaira, with the aim to enhance the operations of the country’s payments system. Back then, the central bank said that the project will continue "with a series of further modifications, capabilities, and enhancements to the platforms."

In August this year, the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Godwin Emefiele said that the eNaira has been used to carry out transactions worth NGN 4bn (USD 9.2m) since its introduction in October 2021, adding that the eNaira app has been downloaded 840,000 times and had about 270,000 active wallets in August.

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