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Nigerian musician Innocent Idibia donates $11,000 to UNHCR for humanitarian efforts

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Nigerian music icon, Innocent Idibia – known by his stage name Tuface, has donated 3.5 million naira to the UN refugee office in the country. He has also disclosed that a charity concert will be held in June to help raise more funds.

The funds which come up to over $11,000 is expected to go into humanitarian interventions particularly in the area of helping victims of the Boko Haram insurgency.

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in a statement issued on Monday in Abuja confirmed the donation from the Tuface Foundation. They, however, said the intervention was for displaced persons in the country and across the continent.

The musician is quoted to have said, ‘‘I am proud to support the UN Refugee Agency because of its proven track record of being at the forefront of displacement emergencies,’‘ adding that ‘‘I want to help people who have been forced to flee their homes because of different issues.’‘

A UNHCR official said whiles the outfit was largely funded by governments, together with other partners, they required some $2.5bn to provide crucial life-saving assistance to displaced families. He said Africa was home to over 19.4 million of the world’s 63.9 million displaced persons.

Nigeria is experiencing one of its worst humanitarian crisis stemming from years of insurgency by the Boko Haram sect. The insurgents till 2015 held parts of the northeastern Borno State, where the group was born. A military counter-insurgency had restricted them to sporadic attacks and use of suicide bombers to attack soft targets.

The United Nations has said that funding was urgently needed to support Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in Nigeria – Africa’s most populous nation. International donors last week pledged $672 million for the next three years to avert famine in the Lake Chad region.

During a two-day meeting held in Norway’s capital Oslo, aid agencies said they must get food to close to 3 million people by July, to avert famine in the region threatened by Boko Haram.

The most urgent need is to reach 2.8 million people with rice or sorghum or cash to buy supplies by July, the UN’s World Food programme (WFP) added. Already, half a million children under the age of five are suffering from acute malnutrition.

Lake Chad region comprises northeastern Nigeria, northern Cameroon, western Chad and southeastern Niger. The region is one of the poorest in the world.

It has been ravaged by eight years of violence which has killed around 15,000 people while more than 2 million have been forced to flee their homes.

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What is Bitcoin?

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People buy Bitcoin for all sorts of different reasons. It’s a store of value, a transactional medium, and an idea that some claim could change the future of economics entirely.



Most notably, it’s not a real, physical thing, but an entirely digital entity (no matter what the header image may suggest) with no middle-man controlling its use. To put it simply, Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency.

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A crypto-what?

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A cryptocurrency, of which Bitcoin was the first and still the foremost, is an entirely digital form of currency. Think of it like the way you operate your online bank account or use credit-cards. You never have to physically have that money to own it or use it. The same is true with Bitcoin — it’s just numbers in a wallet — but you can do a lot with them.

Bitcoin sits atop the public ledger that is blockchain technology, and is gradually created by a practice called “mining.” Although the specifics of mining go beyond the scope of this article (this one explains it in more detail) in effect, powerful computers run incredibly complicated mathematical formulas to provide the verification for Bitcoin transactions, and at the same time create new Bitcoins. The difficulty of this formula creates scarcity.

There’s also a hard limit on how much can ever be produced — 21 million Bitcoins, to be specific. While we’re a long way to that happening, that limit makes Bitcoin quite different from the dollars and pounds we are so used to. Many successors to Bitcoin have decided not to use a hard-coded limit, so this trait is somewhat unique.

Independent, for better and for worse

Bitcoin differs from traditional currencies, like the U.S. dollar or British pound, in an important way — it isn’t backed by any central organization, or a physical item, like gold.

The value of a single Bitcoin is based entirely on what people consider it to be worth. Much of that is related to what you can use it for and the quantity of product or service you receive in return. Of course, money’s value has long been based largely on a perception of worth. That’s why economic panics can cause a run on a bank, or inflation can go out of control. Yet there’s always been some underlying guarantor — usually a government — offering the promise of stability.

Bitcoin doesn’t have that. It was created independent of any government, and remains independent. Its value is dictated entirely by the market for it. It has soared to incredible heights, but has also experienced huge price shocks, and there’s been many accusations of insider trading, price manipulation, and other dubious tactics. Governments have strict measures to prevent these problems in their currency — though they don’t always work — but Bitcoin, being independent, can’t implement such checks, and attempts at regulation are largely doomed to fail.

Bitcoin as a transactional medium

what is bitcoin

One of the core purposes of Bitcoin, from its original creation, was as a transactional medium. That is, it’s used in place of traditional currency. When stored in a digital wallet like Coinbase, it can be sent to another wallet anywhere in the world to pay for goods or services, and over the years it’s been used for just that.

For those who don’t have the time or computational resources to mine Bitcoin themselves — today you would need to spend thousands on hardware to hope for even a modicum return on your investment — they can buy it. There are a number of ways to do so, but typically it involves sending an amount of traditional currency to a person who owns Bitcoin, who in turn sends the relevant amount of currency to your wallet.

One of the most highly publicized ways Bitcoin has been used for transactions over the years has been for darknet drug sales. Thanks to the anonymous nature of the cryptocurrency, it’s been utilized to pay for illicit substances and other items over Tor-accessible websites like the infamous Silkroad. It’s also facilitated the rise in ransomware.

That’s not to say that Bitcoin is used exclusively for illicit transactions, though. Indeed, it can also be used to give to charities, pay for gift cards, pizzas and airline travel, and it’s even found usage as a day-to-day way of paying for goods in countries with terribly collapsed or inflated currencies of their own.

Bitcoin as a store of value

bitcoin stock

Back when Bitcoin was first created, individual ‘coins’ had no intrinsic value. What they were worth was negotiated, with one person once offering 10,000 Bitcoins for a couple of pizzas. Over time, though, as more uses for the currency have been created and it’s grown more popular, Bitcoin’s value has risen in turn. While a single Bitcoin was worth pennies in 2010, today it’s worth more than $6,000, having peaked at more than $19,000 at the end of 2017.

For this reason, over the past few years and most notably in 2017, people have begun to see Bitcoin as a store of value. Although extremely volatile compared to more typical systems like stocks, shares, or gold, Bitcoin has become a popular way for people to invest their money and for some, it’s paid dividends. Those who purchased Bitcoin at the start of 2017 saw a near 20-fold return on their investment throughout it, leading some to suggest that Bitcoin could be worth seven figures by 2020.

It is important to note that this extreme optimism has given rise to a lot of uninformed investment in what is still a relatively unproven digital medium. It is far closer to gambling in terms of its potential for financial gain and loss, and there have been many sad stories of people losing huge sums during big downturns in the currency’s value.

The lasting legacy

There are many people who have a lot to say about Bitcoin, both bad and good. Some see it as a way to make a quick buck as it jumps up and down in value, while others see it as an entirely new economic model. It’s also possible that Bitcoin itself, as impactful as it has been, will be most successful as the progenitor of underlying technologies like the blockchain and newer alt-coins like Ethereum.

The future of Bitcoin is far from guaranteed, but its impact on the world of finances, online transactions, and on many people’s bank balances, cannot be denied. It’s been a force for good, for bad, and everything in between — and it will be well remembered, even if it doesn’t reach the heady heights that so many predict.

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Finance

MOROCCO NAMED MOST ATTRACTIVE INVESTMENT DESTINATION IN AFRICA

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Morocco has been named the most attractive investment destination in Africa, followed closely by Egypt and Algeria.

According to the latest Africa Investment Index 2018 by Quantum Global Research Lab, an independent research arm of Quantum Global, Morocco has a receptive business environment and low risk profile.

The index which was released on the sidelines of the Africa CEO Forum in Abidjan measures six major factors: growth, liquidity, risk, business environment, demography and social capital, to determine the investment attractiveness of countries in the medium term.

According to the Managing Director, Quantum Global Research Lab, Prof. Mthuli Ncube, Morocco has been consistent in attracting an inward flow of foreign capital, specifically in banking, tourism and energy sectors and through the development of industry.

Ivory Coast which is the fastest growing economy in Africa was ranks 5th on the investment index while Botswana, previously ranked as Africa’s top investment destination in the first edition, ranks 4th scoring well in risk factors as well as the business environment.

 

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