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Crypto: Coins tapping craze grips Nigerian youths

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...as elusive wealth seekers blow precious time, scarce funds

* It’s another ponzi scheme – Experts

A new trend, known as crypto tapping, is the new money making scheme in town, which idle youths and quick money seekers have grabbed with such zeal as if their life depends on it. Crypto tapping is the practice, where subscribers tap repeatedly on the icon in the centre of their preferred crypto firm’s bot screen to mine coins, has taken the nation by storm, Business Hallmark can report.

According to BH findings, Nigerians of all ages have become obsessed with the business of tapping on their phone screens in pursuit of promised financial gain.

The tap-to-earn crypto trend is widespread among many Nigerians, especially, students in secondary and university, corporate and commercial drivers, civil servants, labourers, housewives and even beggars, who are furiously tapping away on their devices, largely oblivious of happenings around them.

To participate in the programme, users must engage with the provider’s bot (usually on Telegram) by repeatedly tapping the icon displayed on the bot’s interface.

This earns users points, which determine their rank among other participants. The more users tap, the higher they climb in ranks and the more coins they earn.

When fully operational in Nigeria, users will be able to trade the earned tokens on the crypto firm’s network. They can also be used to purchase goods online.

BH learnt that a new spur, where users can pay a token or subscribe to Facebook, YouTube channels and other complete assigned missions in order to unlock boosters to maximize their earnings and to go higher in ranks was recently added.

While there are several coin tapping apps available to users in the country, the five most preferred by Nigerians are Notcoin, TapSwap, Toincoin, Memecoin and Hamster Kombat.

These Telegram-based clicker games have recorded massive traction in the country, reaching millions of users.

While adults and matured Nigerians prefer Notcoin, TapSwap and Toincoin, most youths prefer Hamster Kombat and Memecoin because of their friendly and game-like features.

According to a survey conducted by BH, five out of every 10 Nigerians are active participants in the tap-to-earn craze.

The percentage is, however, higher among youths ages 14 to 30, with every 7 in 10 respondents admitting to participating in it.

Some respondents, who spoke to BH on their addiction to the tap-to-earn coins craze attributed it to their desire to earn money.

According to Tope Buraimoh (not real names), an Senior Secondary 2 student in a government-owned secondary school in Lagos, she joined the tapping trend after learning about it from her colleagues.

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“I initially did not want to join the trend owing to negative stories in the past about crypto-currencies, but when I saw my colleagues earning money, though small, I decided to opt in.

“I used to trek to school each day in other to save my daily N200 transport fare and N100 lunch allowance to buy data for the daily tapping task.

“I can’t recollect how much I have spent so far on the endeavour, but it should be over N18,000 because I started in late March, and this is June.

“So, if you multiply N300 in the 60 days that we have been in school, that will give us about N18,000 on data.

“Apart from my transport and lunch allowances, I also get money gifts from my parents, uncles, aunties and neighbours that I run errands for, which I also spend on buying data.

“So far, I have garnered over three million coins and my prayer is that they are going to turn to real money (tokens) soon”, Buraimoh prayed.

She, however, expressed her reservations on the viability of the tap-to-earn schemes, when asked if she knows anyone, who has benefitted financially from it.

“When I told you earlier that I was lured into it after seeing some of my colleagues making money, I didn’t mean that they have benefited from earned coins.

“However, some promoters of the schemes in our neighbourhood have been doling out cash tokens of N1,000 to N5,000 to users, depending on how adept they are at tapping.

“The more you tap, the more commission you get. So, others, rather than give out cash rewards, prefer to allow users have access to their data band through WiFi to enable them engage in the tapping task”, she stated.

However, despite the fact that many Nigerians are daily pumping huge resources, including precious time and funds to buy data, towards realizing the promised financial gain, the promised reward has largely become elusive to many of them.

Many users, who spoke to our correspondent on the matter, lamented that despite already acquiring millions of coins, which the promoters of the crypto firms they subscribed to promised to convert to tokens that can be used to purchase goods, their acquired coins have remained useless.

A coin mining user, who is on TapSwap, Inumidun Kolade, said he joined the tapping trend in April 2024 and have garnered over 8 millions coins so far.

“I should be one of the leaders with over 8 millions coins. Before I joined, I was told that you’ll be able to monetize your coins after reaching the 5 million mark.

“Despite my coins crossing 8 million, I have not been able to monetize it. We heard initially that the official launch of the tokens will be done in May.

“We are in the last week of June and have not heard anything from the promoters of the scheme on when our coins will be converted to tokens and we’ll start spending it.

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“I beg them (TapSwap) in the name of God, they should not disappointment, as some of us have invested our time and resources in this venture.

“Conservatively, I have spent over N350,000 on data purchase and boosting my tapping to get more coins”, he explained.

A crypto expert, Toyin Ibigbami, alleged that most users, especially the younger ones, are being used by cypto firms’ managers and their agents for promotional purposes.

“Most Nigerians users will be shocked at the end of the day that they won’t get anything worthwhile for their tapping efforts.

“The tap-to-earn coins schemes are largely promotional gimmicks to draw attention to newly established crypto businesses or their products.

“They (crypto firms) make money from advertisers on their online platforms like Facebook, Youtube and Telegram. That is why they encourage users to visit those sites so that they can get more visitors.

“More visitors means more advertisements, and more advertisements means more revenue for the crypto firms.

“Concerning those making available their Wi-Fi available to users or giving out cash tokens to them to ensure they stay tapping, what users don’t know is that they are only helping the agents to grow their tokens.

“From my observations, I found out that most users signed on through invitations. What most agents or promoters do is to send links to would- be tappers/users to join the tap-to-earn scheme.

“What most users don’t know is that these links won’t create their own independent accounts, but are linked to the canvassers accounts.

“So, what they are doing is to make money for the promoters, who can afford to give out cash tokens or open their Wi-Fi to help their cause.

“I can tell you that this is another ponzi scheme like the ill-fated MMM. Some are even asking users to boost their chances of earning more coins and moving up in the ladder for as low as N1,000. It will surely crash. I can bet my life on it”, Ibigbami stated.

However, the failure of some of the cypto firms (especially Notcoin) to start converting coins to tokens from May 2024 as promised, has not discouraged old users and new ones from entering and participating in the tap-to-earn scheme, which experts described as another ponzi scheme.

BH checks revealed that Memecoin, Notcoin, TapSwap and many other tap-to-earn crypto schemes have continued to capture the attention of Nigeria’s crypto-craze community with their subtle advertisements and innovative crypto mining products.

Meanwhile, stakeholders expressed concern about the schemes transparency and long-term potentials.

According to a financial expert, Ngozi Ikemere, there are concerns about the unknown identity of the brains behind the schemes despite their promising start.

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“This lack of transparency raises questions about the project’s legitimacy and long-term viability.

“Also, the schemes token prices and potential values are uncertain, as the market is still trying to adjust to crypto mining”, declared Ikemere.

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