Nigerian authorities and cryptocurrencies platform Binance Holdings Ltd. are in talks to establish a digital economic zone that will help entrepreneurs fast track blockchain technology in the West African nation.
The partnership aims to build a digital hub, “similar to the Dubai virtual free zone,” according to statement by the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority.
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, is targeting digital technology as a means to help diversify the economy away from crude oil, taking advantage of an increasingly connected and youthful population. Fintech startups such as Interswitch Ltd. and Flutterwave Inc. has emerged in the space and achieved billion-dollar plus valuations.
The government this year enacted regulations for trade in digital assets while Nigeria Exchange Ltd. plans to start a blockchain-enabled platform next year to deepen trade at the bourse.
Read: Africa’s Technology Hub Rises in a Congested Lagos Neighborhood
Nigeria’s citizens showed more interest in cryptocurrencies than any other country since the digital assets began to decline in April, according to a study by price tracker CoinGecko.
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