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

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 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 last 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.