CEO of Nigerian exchange Patricia debunks rumors of company’s shutdown

As an analyst with extensive experience in the Nigerian tech and crypto space, I find Hanu’s public statement regarding the rumors surrounding Patricia’s closure both intriguing and concerning. The rapid spread of misinformation, fueled by clickbait headlines and sensationalized news, is a common issue in this sector. However, it is essential to separate fact from fiction, especially when the consequences could significantly impact investors and users.

Fejiro Hanu, the CEO of Nigerian cryptocurrency exchange Patricia, used his X account to deny reports that the platform was on the verge of shutting down due to customer fund losses and the ensuing challenges in expanding its operations.

I’d like to clarify some recent rumors surrounding the company, stressing that it’s common for unfavorable information to spread faster than positive developments. Consequently, there may be misunderstandings regarding our current situation.

The CEO spoke out about the significant part played by news sites and blogs in spreading clickbait headlines and false information, which has fueled the widespread belief in the incorrect closure narrative. He voiced his disappointment over how information gets shared and offered apologies to the platform’s users, all while reaffirming his commitment to standing up against online harassment.

A thread:

Something I want to point out is, most reporters, media houses, blogs, twitter influencers do not care about the truth.

Why? Your eyeballs, your clicks, your views — that’s the prize.

— Hanu (@Fejizzy) May 1, 2024

Recently, Nigeria’s first-of-its-kind crypto exchange has been the subject of closure speculation, even without an official declaration from the authorities. Surprisingly, numerous crypto exchanges have emerged in Nigeria, defying the government’s tough stance on digital currencies.

Last year, Patricia came under intense examination after confessing to the loss of $2 million from customer accounts, which was believed to be a result of a security breach. This occurrence subsequently became associated with Wilfred Bonse, a past Nigerian gubernatorial candidate.

As a researcher, I came across an article from published last November, which revealed that the authorities had arrested Bonse in relation to the exchange breach. Following Bonse’s apprehension, Hanu publicly expressed feelings of relief and vindication, attributing his gratitude towards the Nigerian police for their meticulous investigation. This incident may serve as a stepping stone towards rebuilding trust within the community.

In spite of the recent allegations suggesting potential collapse, Hanu’s response aims to showcase the firm’s ability to weather the ongoing difficulties.

In reaction to the reported incident, Ezra Olubi, Paystack’s co-founder and CTO, raised eyebrows during an interview on X. He cast doubt on the exchange’s account of events, implying that the executives may have misused customer funds for lavish expenditures instead of disclosing a suspected hack.

It requires a considerable amount of audacity for a company to thoughtlessly spend customer resources, falsely accuse a non-existent or self-inflicted “hack” as an excuse, teeter on the edge of bankruptcy, and yet still criticize the media without providing a thorough explanation of events.

— Ezra ‘God’ Olubi (@0x) May 1, 2024

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2024-05-02 12:38