Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, as well as the largest economy. Moroever, Africa’s largest economy has a huge potential when it comes to cryptocurrencies. It is worth mentioning that, peer-to-peer (P2P) Bitcoin volume in Nigeria continues to rise. The country remains a bastion for crypto adoption.
The country ranks second only to the U.S. in trading volume. This is based on the data provided by the Bitcoin P2P marketplace Paxful. Interestingly, since 2015 locals traded more than 60,000 BTC on the Paxful platform amounting to about $566 million in volume over the period. Importantly, Data Dance shows trading activity for the week ending December 12 at 886.3 million naira (about $2.3 million).
A combination of factors helped to make Bitcoin more popular in the country. For example, stringent forex policies by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the rapid decline of the country’s fiat currency. Two days ago, the central bank issued a communique. According to this communique, the bank directed international money transfer operators (IMTOs) to stop processing diaspora remittance payments in naira.
Nigeria and Bitcoin
This decision is in line with the new policy of allowing Nigerians to receive international payments in their domiciliary accounts. This is based on the information by the Central Bank of Nigeria. Moroever, CBN also issued a notice declaring that two IMTOs, TransferWise and Azimo were not authorized to operate in the country.
Interestingly, while the central bank may be reversing some of its more stringent forex micromanagement policies. However, the scarcity caused by these previous baking laws seems to have pushed more Nigerians into alternative currencies. It is worth noting that, Bitcoin adoption tends to soar in countries struggling with high inflation and declining confidence in the local currency.
The world’s most valuable cryptocurrency likely offers an alternative for the tech-savvy young population. Notably, during the October protests against police brutality, the government ordered banks to freeze the accounts of the movement’s backers. However, they switched to Bitcoin and crypto donations.
Based on the information taken from Google Trends, Nigeria is still number one in terms of global search interest for Bitcoin. However, the country’s government should work with crypto enthusiasts to address issues that have the potential to influence the industry. Authorities should pay more attention to cryptocurrencies. This way it will be easier to make cryptocurrencies more popular in the most populous country in Africa as well as neighboring countries.