MetaMask Enables Direct Bank Transfers for Crypto Purchases in Nigeria

In a move that aims to make self-custody cryptocurrency purchases more accessible in Nigeria, MetaMask has partnered with MoonPay to expand direct on-ramps with local banks. ConsenSys, the parent firm of MetaMask, announced the integration on March 21, allowing users in Nigeria to purchase crypto via instant bank transfers. This new feature is available within the MetaMask mobile and Portfolio DApp, significantly simplifying the process of buying crypto without using credit or debit cards in Nigeria.

Previously, MoonPay had a card integration feature, but about 90% of attempts to buy crypto with a credit or debit card were declined, according to Santos, a MetaMask spokesperson. With the new integration supporting local bank transfers, crypto purchases on MetaMask are now faster and cheaper, allowing users to access crypto without sending assets from a centralized exchange.

Despite the current issues with crypto on-ramps in Nigeria, the country has emerged as a major market for MetaMask, ranking third in mobile monthly active users. It is also among the top ten countries in terms of visitors to over the last month, Santos added. Nigeria is one of the world’s top 20 ranked countries in cryptocurrency adoption, according to the Chainalysis 2022 Global Crypto Adoption Index. Some reports suggest that 35% of the Nigerian population aged 18 to 60 owned or traded cryptocurrencies in 2022.

This high level of adoption is despite the Central Bank of Nigeria banning banks from servicing crypto exchanges in February 2021. However, in December 2022, local media reported that the Nigerian government was preparing to pass a law recognizing the usage of Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies to keep up to date with “global practices.” This move, coupled with the new integration between MetaMask and MoonPay, may signal a growing acceptance of cryptocurrencies in Nigeria.

It is important to note that Nigeria’s cryptocurrency market faces challenges such as a lack of regulatory clarity and security concerns. However, the partnership between MetaMask and MoonPay provides a viable solution for those seeking to invest in crypto without the use of credit or debit cards. As the adoption of cryptocurrencies continues to grow in Nigeria and other countries around the world, we may see further innovations aimed at increasing accessibility and usability.


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Bybit suspends USD bank transfers amid service outages

Bybit, a Dubai-based cryptocurrency exchange, has announced that it is temporarily suspending United States dollar (USD) deposits via bank transfers in response to “service outages from a partner.” According to a blog post from March 4, USD deposits via wire transfer are no longer available, but users can still make USD deposits through the Advcash Wallet or with a credit card. Withdrawals through the Advcash Wallet are scheduled to be available soon, according to the exchange.

Bybit has reassured users that their funds are safe and secure, but is urging clients planning to withdraw USD to do so “as soon as possible to avoid potential disruptions.” The halt comes just a day after Silvergate Bank announced plans to discontinue its digital assets’ payment network, which was one of the major on- and off-ramps for USD in the American crypto industry.

Bybit is one of the companies with exposure to the crypto lender Genesis Global Trading, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Jan. 20. According to Bybit CEO Ben Zhou, the exposure amounts to $150 million via its investment arm Mirana Asset Management. A total of $120 million of the funds were collateralized and had already been liquidated, according to Zhou. He also assured that all client funds go into separate accounts and that Bybit’s earn products do not use Mirana.

The regulatory pressure and market outflows following the dramatic collapse of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX in November 2022 are driving US banks to reduce their exposure to cryptocurrency assets. Last month, Binance announced that it would temporarily suspend bank transfers of US dollars. In January, the exchange also said that its SWIFT transfer partner, Signature Bank, would only process trades by users with USD bank accounts over $100,000. Signature Bank previously announced that it was drastically decreasing crypto deposits.

While Bybit has suspended USD deposits via bank transfer, users can still make deposits through the Advcash Wallet or with a credit card. Bybit has assured users that their funds are safe and secure, but is urging clients to withdraw USD as soon as possible to avoid potential disruptions. The halt comes amid regulatory pressure and market outflows in the wake of the collapse of FTX and the bankruptcy of Genesis Global Trading.


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