Nigeria Plans to Create a Virtual Free Zone With Binance Crypto Exchange

The west African country wants to create something similar to Dubai’s digital city.

AccessTimeIconSep 5, 2022 at 9:44 a.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 3:35 p.m. UTC

The Nigerian Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) is in discussions with crypto exchange Binance over plans to create a virtual free zone focusing on blockchain and the digital economy, the agency said in a Saturday press release.

NEPZA, which helps regulate and operate free zones in the country, wants the result to be similar to Dubai's virtual free zone. In December of last year Binance agreed to help Dubai establish an industry hub for global digital assets with the aim of promoting long term economic growth and encouraging a range of crypto companies to become licensed in the emirate.

"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," Adesoji Adesugba, NEPZA's managing director, said in the statement.

The initiative follows the launch in October of Nigeria's central bank digital currency, the world's second, following the Bahamas' sand dollar. By August, the eNaira had been used to carry out transactions worth 4 billion naira ($9.2 million).

Binance was not immediately able to comment when contacted by CoinDesk.


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Camomile Shumba

Camomile Shumba is a CoinDesk regulatory reporter based in the UK. She previously worked as an intern for Business Insider and Bloomberg News. She does not currently hold value in any digital currencies or projects.