Nigerian telecom watchdog invests in WiFi-sharing blockchain startup

The Nigerian Communications Commission has invested in Wicrypt, a blockchain startup that allows its users to share their WiFi and earn. Wicrypt emerged second in a startup competition organized by the regulator, attracting the 2 million naira ($5,500) investment.

Wicrypt is a blockchain startup that offers WiFi hotspot-sharing services to its users, allowing them to earn money from their data. Once the user downloads the mobile app, he sets up an account and can deposit money into his online wallet using bank transfers, card payments or through Kenya’s mobile money service, M-Pesa. Wicrypt also supports payments in BTC, ETH, and Binance coin.

The user gets to share his mobile data with others who pay for the service. The payments can be in crypto or fiat currency.

Wicrypt leverages blockchain technology to “allow users to receive payments per megabyte of their wifi data consumed by a beneficiary.” The app also comes with an inbuilt wallet that verifies the beneficiary has enough cryptocurrency to start using the service.

Nigerian blockchain startups have continued to receive support from both public and private entities. In November, one of the country’s largest banks, Zenith Bank, organized an event in which tech startups pitched to investors and raised funding. Blockchain startups were well represented, according to a local crypto news outlet.

Jim Ovia, the founder and chairman of Zenith Bank, lauded the impact that emerging technology such as blockchain and AI are having in Nigeria. He stated, “The aim of the conference is to support innovative and disruptive ideas from emerging startups in various areas like entertainment, agriculture etc using AI, Blockchain technology and so on.”

Cryptos could also find their way into the Nigerian capital market this year. As CoinGeek reported in September, the Nigerian Securities and Exchanges Commission has set up a committee that is looking into the integration of cryptos and blockchain into the capital market. The committee is looking at how cryptos could impact financial stability, market integrity and more. It will also consider the classification of cryptos, whether as commodities, currencies or securities and propose regulations for the industry.

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