Nigeria is seeking to create the first economic free zone for bitcoin and cryptocurrency in West Africa through the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), per a press release.
Our goal is to engender a flourishing virtual free zones to take advantage of a near trillion dollar virtual economy in blockchains and digital economy," said Adesoji Adesugba, NEPZA's managing director.
Furthermore, NEPZA explained that if a partnership is reached, the final product would mirror that of the Dubai Virtual Free Zone.
In fact, this past December, Binance entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Dubai World Trade Center. The memorandum intends to
make Dubai a hub for bitcoin and cryptocurrency related products and services by creating a “new international virtual asset ecosystem.”
In February of last year, the Central Bank of Nigeria issued a letter banning regulated institutions from “dealing” with bitcoin or cryptocurrencies. Following the ban, Nigeria saw an uptick of 27% in peer-to-peer (P2P) bitcoin transactions across the country.
Indeed, just last year Africa as a whole became the largest country in P2P transactions in the world by volume. Around the same time, Chainalysis reported a global adoption index which showed Nigeria in the top 10 countries worldwide for its adoption of bitcoin.
Moreover, as Dubai and Nigeria look to establish special economic zones to benefit bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, we can take a look at existing economic zones. For instance, the free city of Próspera is an example of a customizable economic framework.