Since the beginning of the year, rising crypto prices have seen a shift in interest to the cryptocurrency ecosystem. These claims can be backed up by the increased search results of Bitcoin on Google since last December. However, there is a single country that stands out among all others as a benchmark. West African nation, Nigeria has consistently led the pack over the last year. Ghana and South Africa are the only other African countries that come close.
Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy. Nevertheless, the West African nation is still blemished by the high number of social and economic challenges. In fact, back in 2019, the nation overtook India as the country with the largest population living under the utmost poverty. Approximately 87 million out of the 200 million Nigerians are currently living in extreme poverty. Nigeria’s economy has been experiencing growth over the past two years. Nonetheless, inflation levels have been rising too with the yearly inflation rate almost hitting 12% back in December 2019.
Nigerians Disregard CBN’s Warnings against Crypto
Warnings given by the Central Bank of Nigeria and the senate, leave alone the high number of scams; have not deterred Nigerians from learning more about digital currencies. Regardless of all the risks involved, Nigerians are still buying cryptocurrencies, trading them and even using them in their everyday lives.
In addition, the number of transaction volumes on the peer-to-peer cryptocurrency exchange, LocalBitcoins, increased following a decrease last fall. The trading volumes on LocalBitcoins are hitting 600 million Naira ($1.65 Million) weekly according to stats by Coin Dance.
Nigeria has a large percentage of its population struggling to make ends meet. The west African country is quite dependent on remittances from Nigerians working abroad. According to a report by the Central Bank of Nigeria in January, Nigerians received $17.57 billion in remittances from abroad between January and November of 2019. In comparison to the same period back in 2018, this figure has increased by at least 56.4%. Nevertheless, Nigeria, the same as other African nations, charges very high remittance fees which could reach up to 10%.
Exchange Firms in Nigeria Accelerating Crypto Adoption
Digital currencies provide users with an alternative medium of payment to fiat currencies. However, in order to realize its potential as a viable option, a well functioning exchange and trading system are essential. Luckily for Nigeria, the country has a variety of established local platforms that support the buying and selling of cryptocurrencies using local fiat, Naira.
Furthermore, Nairex crypto exchange based in Abeokuta, Ogun-state in Nigeria is the largest Cryptocurrency exchange in the country. The exchange supports a variety of payment methods such as bank transfer, Bitpesa which uses Kenya’s revolutionary payments platform, M-Pesa. Nigerians can access Bitpesa to purchase Bitcoin through card transfers.
A variety of growing Nigerian businesses already accepts cryptocurrency as a payment method. Gsm2me, which is a popular mobile airtime and sms packages provider accepts payment in Bitcoin. The country’s platforms have partnered with more than 500 networks in 135 other countries.
In conclusion, Nigerians have a variety of options to harness the power of digital currencies. For example Paychant is a crypto gateway for business entities to accept crypto through instant conversion to fiat. The payments processor currently supports Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) only.