Data gathered from peer-peer lending platform Paxful reveals that Nigeria has emerged as the largest Bitcoin market in Africa.
According to a QuartzAfrica report, millennials in Nigeria have unveiled Bitcoin’s benefits over the country’s restrictive banking and financial system.
The Bitcoin advantage came to the fore when the Nigerian government stopped the local payment platform from remitting donations to protesters during the “end SARS protest” in October.
The Nigerian youths quickly transited from local fiat to using Bitcoin. In less than one week, BTC donations made up 40% of the nearly $400,000 raised to support the protest.
Speaking for Paxful, the company’s Nigerian regional manager, Nena Nwachukwu, said that the users “mostly use the platform for peer-to-peer and arbitrage trading.” Adding that bitcoin transfers are “much cheaper and faster than using traditional money transfer operators.”
Nigeria has traded 60,215 BTC since May 2015, amounting to $566 million. Thus, bringing the country to the second-largest globally traded BTC volume on Paxful after the United States.
Meanwhile, the Financial institutions in Nigeria have taken advantage of the citizen’s limited access to international payment platforms like PayPal to charge outrageous fees on currency conversion transactions.
Commenting on bitcoin adoption in Nigeria, cofounder at BuyCoins Africa, Eleanya Eke, said, “And the best thing about it is that is almost impossible to stop. If they block the exchange, it moves to non-custodial peer-peer platforms.”
In the meantime, the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission(SEC) released a statement a few months back to update the status of cryptocurrency in the country and other forms of digital assets.