In tech news this week (51) by Techative, FGN instructs citizens to link their SIM cards with their NIN, Twitter Spaces starts beta testing, CBN bans affiliation with IMTO, Nigeria becomes second-largest bitcoin market after the US and Disney collaborates with Africa’s Kugali Media for a new animation series.
1. NCC suspends new SIM card registration
The Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) earlier this week ordered the suspension of new subscriber identification module (SIM) card registration, and gave an ultimatum of two weeks for old subscribers to link their National Identification Number (NIN) to their SIMs. This has caused an uproar in the country as citizens without the NIN and those who seek to retrieve their lines are thrown into a state of confusion. The sudden directive issued by the NCC is linked to the high rate of kidnappings in the country and is seen as a way to clamp down on the rising levels of insecurity.
2. Twitter’s Spaces is live for testing.
Twitter has finally released an audio chat feature called Spaces for beta testing. Spaces is said to have transcription and high moderation features that allow users to invite, remove and even block unwanted persons. With Spaces, campaigns and projects can now be completed virtually and right on Twitter. Also, with covid-19 making work go remote, Twitter is on track to help its users accomplish more. But do you think this will take away attention from the micro-blogging part, which is the core of Twitter?
3. CBN bans mobile money operators from transacting.
In a bid to strengthen the naira against the dollar and ensure the availability of the latter, CBN has banned mobile money operators from receiving remittances through International Money Transfer Operators (IMTO), as IMTOs directly convert international currency to the recipient’s local currency. With this new directive, Nigerians can only receive dollars and consequently exchange it for Naira in the black market. This would inadvertently hamper the growth of fintech startups who are aggressively working to ease international money transfer across borders.
4. Nigeria, the second largest Bitcoin market in the world.
Nigeria now ranks as the second-largest peer-to-peer (P2P) bitcoin market in the world. This feat is a result of the “cross-border liquidity challenges” in Nigeria as noted by Paxful’s CEO and co-founder Ray Yussef. Also, during the October social movement campaign in Nigeria, #EndSars, resourceful and resilient young Nigerians took to bitcoin as a means of funding the protests after the government blocked their bank accounts and raised 40% of the total amount – $400,000 – in bitcoin. Nigeria has traded more than $566 million worth of bitcoin between 2015 and 2020.
5. Disney collaborates with Africa’s Kugali Media to produce animation series
Walt Disney, in collaboration with Kugali Media, is set to release an animation series set in Lagos, Nigeria, titled ”Iwaju”. Iwaju, which in the Yoruba language translates to “The Future”, is a comic book published by Nigerian and Ugandan creatives in 2019 with an aim to allow Africans to tell their own stories themselves. Check out the chapbook here.
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