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July 04, 2022

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Good day , 

Victoria here,

Last week, Airtel Africa announced the launch of SmartCash Payment Service Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary, to provide financial services across Nigeria.

This comes two months after the Central Bank of Nigeria granted Airtel Africa a full Payment Service Bank (PSB) licence.

SmartCash will accept deposits from individuals and small businesses, provide payment and remittance services within Nigeria, and issue debit and prepaid cards, among other things.

Also, it will allow for international payments and transfers. Currently, the service is only available at a few retail locations.

This is what I'll be discussing today:

  • How to survive Computer Village
  • A $1.7 billion fraud

Unrelated, but help Techpoint Africa determine how much African tech workers earn by filling out this form or sharing it with your developer friends.

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How to survive Computer Village

I'll describe my Computer Village (Ikeja, Lagos) experience in one word, unpleasant.

From being touched roughly to aggressive persuasion to buy a device to spoiling my device to rarely getting my money back after returning a product, I've been through it!

This brings back memories of an awful experience. If you're curious, hit the reply button, and I’ll tell you. 😁

What I find ridiculous is how they profit from your appearance. Why mention a ridiculous price based on how I look?😒😒

I'm almost sure every entrepreneur does this. My hairdresser once told me that she charges customers based on their appearance. Hence, she charges me more, but I am constantly complaining. 😂 Can you imagine?

On the most recent episode of Everyday People, we meet Clement Akwe, an entrepreneur in Computer Village who makes a lot of money selling laptops.

I'm not sure if he profits from people's appearance, but he makes between ₦500k ($1,205) and ₦800k ($1,928) per month. For someone who began working in the bank as an Executive Trainee earning ₦140,000 ($337), that transition is undoubtedly the best decision he's ever made.

He didn't have it easy, though. Consider leaving banking to work as an apprentice. It’s like going from top to bottom, right? He even arrived at Computer Village in early 2017 with no money in his account.

So, how did he begin? He started with getting devices from people and paying them once the customer pays. Later, he took his profit from the sales and grew, buying laptops and getting a shop.

He also made sure that he was present on every online platform. He was active on social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Google My Business, LinkedIn, and even Facebook.

Want to learn how to survive the market? Then read this: Clement Akwe’s guide on how to survive Computer Village, Ikeja

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South African company charged with $1.7 billion fraud

US derivatives markets regulator, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), has filed civil lawsuits against Mirror Trading International Proprietary Limited (MTI), a South African trading and networking company that only accepted Bitcoin as payment, and its CEO, Cornelius Johannes Steynberg.

Remember that MTI was labelled the biggest cryptocurrency scam of 2020 in Chainalysis' crime report in 2020. Following an investigation, Chainalysis discovered that MTI had received $589 million from over 471,000 deposits.

The CFTC said that between May 2018 and March 2021, MTI and its CEO solicited Bitcoin from thousands of people, including 23,000 Americans, through websites and social media.

The CFTC claimed that MTI engaged in a scheme to "solicit, accept, and pool more than $1.7 billion to trade off-exchange, retail foreign currency (forex) on a leveraged, margined, and/or financed basis."

Consequently, MTI was charged with operating a fraudulent commodity pool worth more than $1.7 billion in Bitcoin and violating other regulations.

Rather than trading forex, as claimed by MTI, the company embezzled pool funds, misrepresented trading and performance, falsified account statements, and used a bogus broker where the trading took place.

MTI and Sternberg misappropriated all the Bitcoin accepted from pool participants, either directly or indirectly. Further, at least 29,421 Bitcoins — worth more than $1,733,838,372 — were ever invested between 2018 and 2021.

Per the CFTC, this Ponzi scheme is the largest Bitcoin-related fraud scheme case it has ever handled.

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Have a great week!
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Victoria Fakiya (@latoria_ria)

 

A writer with ADHD who is interested in mental health and how technology is improving the lives of Africans with mental disorders.

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