A bitcoiner lost access to his 7,002 bitcoins worth $240 million
Stefan Thomas, a German-born programmer living in San Francisco, has been unable to access his 7,002 bitcoins, which is worth almost $240 million at the current price, the New York Times reported Tuesday.
He stored the private key for his bitcoins on a small, encrypted hard drive known as an Ironkey, and wrote the password to the device down on paper. However, he said he lost the piece of paper where he wrote down the password years ago. The device gives users 10 guesses before it seizes up and encrypts its contents forever. He has used up eight of the 10 allotments without success. He was quoted as saying:
I would just lay in bed and think about it. Then I would go to the computer with some new strategy, and it wouldn’t work, and I would be desperate again.
Thomas explained that he was attracted to bitcoin partly because it was outside the control of a country or company. He was given the 7,002 bitcoins in 2011 while living in Switzerland by an early bitcoiner for making the famous animated video entitled “What is Bitcoin?”
Being unable to access his bitcoins while its value soared, fall, and soared again has made Thomas rethink the idea of being his own bank and holding onto his own money, the publication conveyed. “This whole idea of being your own bank — let me put it this way, ‘Do you make your own shoes?’ The reason we have banks is that we don’t want to deal with all those things that banks do,” he opined.
Nonetheless, the programmer said he now has access to enough bitcoin to make him richer than he knows what to do with. In addition, he joined cryptocurrency startup Ripple in 2012 and was rewarded XRP. Ripple is currently facing a lawsuit by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over XRP.
Thomas said that he has put his Ironkey in a safe place in case cryptographers are able to crack complex passwords in the future. Emphasizing that he is keeping the device far from him to avoid being obsessed over it, he concluded:
I got to a point where I said to myself, ‘Let it be in the past, just for your own mental health.’
Paubox Raised $4M in Series A Funding
Paubox, a San Francisco, CA-based market leader in the HIPAA compliant email space, raised $4m in Series A funding in a round was led by Arthur Ventures (AV). In addition with the funding, Patrick Meenan, Partner at AV, joined Paubox’ board of directors.
Founded by Hoala Greevy in 2014, Paubox provides secure email for modern healthcare used by over 3,000 paying customers to solve their email security and compliance requirements in U.S. healthcare.
The company employs 34 people out of its headquarters in San Francisco.
Paubox has moved the game of email security forward because unlike incumbent solutions that force recipients to login to a portal to read a secure message, Paubox allows the recipient to read a secure, compliant email in their inbox, just like a normal message.
JobNimbus raised $53m in funding
JobNimbus, a Lehi, Utah-based home services software company, raised $53m in funding through an investment from Mainsail Partners, a San Francisco-based growth equity firm. As part of the deal, Vinay Kashyap, Partner, and KC Kanoff, Vice President, of Mainsail Partners, will be joining the JobNimbus board of directors. Jeff Gardner, the former CEO of Zen Planner, a former Mainsail portfolio company, will also be joining the JobNimbus board.
The company intends to use the funds to advance the software, leading to full-scale growth in their core platform, support services, and team.
Founded in 2013 and led by Ben Hodson, CEO, and Aaron Shelly, COO, JobNimbus has developed a growth management platform designed to serve contractors and business owners across various home contractor service industries, including roofing, solar, exterior restoration, and more.
JobNimbus has expanded their offerings across 11 home service industries, specializing in roofing, solar install and exterior renovations.
The company is projected to double in size in 2021, after more than doubling customers and employees in 2020. They plan to add approximately 100 employees in 2021 with a focus on product development and customer support roles.
Mota-Engil to build $2bn rail line between Nigeria and Niger
The $1.96bn deal Sees Mota-Engil building a single-track, standard-gauge line with 12 stations from Kano in northern Nigeria to Maradi in the south of landlocked Niger.
The line will give Niger access to Nigeria’s rail network and thus to Nigerian ports.
The news came in a tweet from Rotimi Amaechi, Nigeria’s transportation minister. In it he said: “Today, we signed the contract documents for the commencement of the Kano-Maradi, Kano-Dutse railway project.”
Minister Amaechi said Mota-Engil will also build a university in Nigeria as a corporate social responsibility component of the deal.
International Railway Journal reports that the funding for the railway was organised by the KFW-IPEX Bank, the Africa Finance Corporation and Credit Suisse, and was approved by Nigeria’s Federal Executive Council in September.
London tech firms raise $10bn despite pandemic
According to research conducted by Dealroom for marketing and promotional agency London & Partners, London tech firms have succeeded in raising $10.5bn (£7.59bn) in venture capital investment in 2020 despite the global COVID-19 pandemic and Brexit. The strong investment performance has set a new record for the UK and European technology sector.
London firms, in particular, have raised three times more funding than Paris, Berlin, Stockholm or any other European city last year. It has also already recorded new venture capital firms that are available to deploy in 2021.
“London is the global tech capital of Europe,” said Sadiq Khan, mayor of London. “Despite the challenges brought about by Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic, London’s tech sector continued to thrive in 2020 and has an important role to play in the city’s economic recovery.
“London is already home to some of the world’s best technology companies and will remain open to international investment and tech talent from all over the world.”
CBN boosting Nigeria’s maize output
Maize, which is grown in several regions of the world and is referred to as the world best adapted crop, has grown to become the fourth most consumed cereal ranked below sorghum, millet and rice and the third most important cereal after sorghum and millet.
Recognized as one of the longest ever cultivated food crops, Maize was introduced to Nigeria in the 16th century and presently the country is the 11th largest producer of the crop in the world. It is the second largest maize producer in Africa, second only to South Africa.
The demand for the crop has been on the rise due to the fact that the grain is being used for feeding poultry and also serves as the main food for many households. Maize is used industrially by flour millers, brewers, bakers of bread and confectionery and animal feed manufacturers.
Despite its high production volumes, maize farming in Nigeria yields an average of 1.8 metric tonnes per hectare (MT/Ha) which is one of the lowest among the top 10 maize producers in Africa. It lags behind countries such as Egypt and South Africa where the yields are 7.7MT/Ha and 5.3MT/Ha respectively making it difficult to totally meet the domestic and industrial maize demand.
With Nigeria’s population expected to surpass 200 million by 2025, there is an expected increase in the demand for maize for both domestic and industrial consumption, presenting a golden opportunity for farmers and entrepreneurs to take advantage of.
However, this opportunity will be lost if there are no right tools that could engender the growth in efficient production of the crop. One of such tools needed is the right funding, particularly for farmers to ensure that they have all that is needed to improve yield per hectare.
Funding has always been a challenge for farmers as well as agriculture value chain operators in Nigeria until recently when the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) revived some of its agricultural financing schemes as well as new intervention funds to ensure adequate funding for the sector.
Among such is the Maize Aggregation Scheme which is a working capital facility that helps Agro-businesses purchase home-grown maize. The Maize Aggregation Scheme which is under the Anchor Borrowers Programme of the CBN has so far been yielding results. Maize farmers across the country have begun the aggregation of maize as farmers in Funtua, Katsina State, last week brought over 33,000 bags (100kg) of maize showcased in pyramids.
President of the Maize Association of Nigeria (MAAN), Dr Abubakar Bello, said the association was at the aggravation level where farmers brought their produce as part of their loan recovery. “For the dry season cultivation this year, CBN will support us because we want to bridge the gap created by what happened in the first six months because of COVID-19 and flooding,” Bello said. As the CBN is going to finance about 750,000 farmers with some other commodity associations, Bello said that he expects that the 2020/ 2021 season will be a very good year for maize production in Nigeria.
The MAAN president said the association is targeting about 22 states to commence the 2020/2021 dry season farming with a target of cultivating 400,000 hectares. It hopes to get as many farmers as possible to join the scheme to address the wet season shortfall.
On importation of the crop, Bello said there would be no need for maize importation as the demand shortfall is expected to be met by the increased local production. This was corroborated by the Deputy Director, Development Finance Department of the CBN, Mr Elenwor Ihua, who said Nigeria has the landmass, capacity and workforce to produce enough maize that could feed the country but noted that the problem was that the country produced maize in only one season. “What has been happening is because we cultivate maize in only one season; there’s a season where you are going to harvest and there’s another season when there will be no harvest so there will be scarcity of maize.
“However, with this initiative that we are carrying out with the likes of MAAN and other organisations, we intend to have at least two circles of production. We have already started preparing for the dry season by the end of December. In January we will have 750,000 hectares, that is going to be a huge boost to the market and at the end of the day, there would not be any need to import maize into the country”, Ihua said.
The CBN has taken development financing a notch high in recent times because, like the fiscal authorities, it believes that diversifying the Nigerian economy will not only make her self-sufficient in food production and industrial raw materials, but also create jobs for its teeming youth population.
According to Emefiele, the Bank has sustained its intervention efforts in order to help catalyse growth in critical sectors of the economy such as agriculture and manufacturing. This the Bank has done through intervention programmes such as the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP), the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS), the Bankers Committee Agri-Business/Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS) and recently introduced Commodity Development Initiative (CDI), which focuses on developing the value chain of ten focal commodities: Cassava, cocoa, cotton, fish, livestock/dairy, maize, oil palm, poultry, rice and tomatoes.
Following successes recorded by the scheme and in line with efforts to boost food production as well as help the country avert the looming economic recession, the CBN recently disclosed that it has set aside about N432 billion to fund the value chains in nine commodities in the 2020 wet season.
The Director, Development Finance Department of CBN, Yila Yusuf, said over 1.1 million farmers, cultivating over one million hectares of farmland were expected to benefit from the loans that would help to produce a collective output of 8.3 million metric tons. Yusuf said the focus on the 2020 wet season was to ensure the provision of improved seeds that would incentivise farmers to return to their farms.
He maintained that the CBN adopted the value chain approach across all the commodities to ensure that every player along the entire value chain, from the farmers through to the processors, was financed.
The CBN’s funding of the ABP for the 2020 season, Yusuf said, was the highest since the inception of the programme in 2015. He said the proposed funding for the nine commodities was a significant move by the CBN, considering the successes recorded in the 2019 season that contributed to shielding Nigeria from any food shortage, particularly rice.
Nigerian solar energy provider raised $38 million to expand solar access across West Africa
Daystar Power, a Nigerian solar energy provider, has raised $38 million with the support of Investment Fund for Developing Countries and Morgan Stanley Investment Management to expand solar access across West Africa.
Lagos-based Daystar plans to replace “unreliable grid or too expensive, polluting diesel generators,” with clean reliable power, Jasper Graf von Hardenberg, the company’s Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder said in an emailed statement Tuesday.
The company plans to expand its installed power capacity to 100 megawatts from the current 23 megawatts, it said. The injected capital will allow Daystar Power to accelerate its growth in key markets like Nigeria and Ghana, and open up in countries such as Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and Togo.
Private sector players dominate solar hybrid development in most parts of West Africa, with financial backing from development finance institutions, BloombergNEF said in a July 2020 report. Nigeria, seen as the largest potential market for mini-grid in West Africa, has received at least $374 million in the past ten years from international donors for mini-grid development.
Africa’s largest economy has small-grid capacity of 2.8 megawatts as of 2019, with 52 of the 59 projects solar-powered, according to BloombergNEF. Only 55% of the nation’s population is connected to the national electricity grid and those experience frequent power cuts of up to 15 hours per day.
Morrisons to be first UK grocery store to pay least £10 per hour
Morrisons to become the primary UK supermarket to break the £10 an hour pay obstruction similarly as the spotlight is being shone on helpless compensation levels in an industry where laborers are in the cutting edge of the pandemic.
The Bradford-based general store said it would ensure pay off in any event £10 an hour with the new arrangement, which begins in April, introducing a huge boost in compensation for almost 96,000 partners. Its base time-based compensation presently remains at £9.20 60 minutes.
The uplifting news from Morrisons came as new exploration from Citizens UK determined that 45%, or 410,000 market laborers, including Morrisons and Sainsbury’s staff, presently procure underneath the genuine living compensation of £10.85 an hour in London and £9.50 an hour across the remainder of Britain. The figure, set by the Living Wage Foundation, depends on ordinary living expenses in the UK.
In April, the lowest pay permitted by law set by the public authority will ascend from £8.72 to £8.91.
David Potts, Morrisons’ CEO, portrayed the organization’s new compensation rate as a “representative and significant achievement that speaks to another progression in remunerating the unbelievably significant work that our partners do here and there.”
“Morrisons associates have procured their status as key laborers, and this boost in salary, many occasions over,” said Potts, who acquired £4.2m a year ago.
Morrisons balances most of the additional pay costs yet a fourth of the whole is coming from rejecting the optional yearly associate reward conspire. The retailer is likewise paying an internal London weighting of 85p and 60p for external London.
Joanne McGuinness, Usdaw public official, said the £10 an hour fundamental rate it had arranged was the “main pace of the significant stores”. “It is a major advance forward and I trust that the arrangement is upheld by our individuals,” she said. “They offer the fundamental assistance of keeping the country taken care of and merit our help, regard and appreciation. Above all they merit good compensation and this offer is a welcome lift.”
Almost 7,000 organizations are living compensation managers however up ’til now no UK grocery store has been licensed by the Living Wage Foundation. Matthew Bolton, leader overseer of Citizens UK, said that in spite of the monetary bloodletting brought about by the pandemic, more than 1000 organizations had figured out how to discover the cash to turn out to be genuine living compensation bosses and “pay the least pursued staff that bit extra”. “However not a solitary significant grocery store pays all staff and contractual workers the living pay. It is unsatisfactory.”
Nigeria and others to get over $5 billion investment from the World Bank
Nigeria, and 11 other African nations will get over $5 billion investment from the World Bank, to help reestablish corrupted scenes, improve agriculture efficiency, and advance vocations.
The World Bank Group President, David Malpass made this guarantee on Monday at the One Planet Summit, an elevated level gathering co-facilitated with France and the United Nations that is centered around tending to environmental change and biodiversity misfortune. Explicitly the cash, the bank said will finance mediations in reestablishing drylands, agriculture, water, local area advancement, food security, strong framework, scene rebuilding, and environmentally friendly power.
Different nations to profit by the assets incorporate Burkina Faso, Chad, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Sudan with center around Sahel area, Lake Chad, and Horn of Africa, the Bank said in an assertion. On why the district, Mahel clarified, “Sahel locale, specifically, was quite possibly the most defenseless against desertification and land debasement, with temperature expands projected to be 1.5 occasions quicker than the worldwide normal. A lot of farmlands in the area was debased and around 30 million individuals food uncertain” A year ago, the World Research Institute (WRI) had cautioned that Nigeria was getting expanding helpless against environmental change difficulties.
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