Bitcoin (BTC) peer-to-peer volume in Nigeria continues to grow as Africa’s largest economy remains a bastion of cryptocurrency adoption. According to Quartz Africa, data from Paxful shows the Bitcoin P2P market that the country has the second largest trading volume after the USA.
Since 2015, Nigerians have sold more than 60,200 BTC on the Paxful platform, valued at around $ 566 million during this period. Coin Dance data shows trading activity for the week ending December 12, and Naira was 886.3 million (roughly $ 2.3 million).
Bitcoin’s increasing appeal among Nigerians is probably due to a confluence of factors, most notably the tight monetary policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as well as the rapid decline in the country’s paper currency, the Naira. In a December 16th message, the Central Bank of Nigeria called on international money transfer operators (IMTO) to stop processing diaspora remittances in Naira.
The move is in line with a new policy that allows Nigerians to receive international payments on their home accounts, according to the central bank. The central bank also released a statement stating that two IMTOs, TransferWise and Azimo, are not permitted to operate in the country.
While the Central Bank of Nigeria may repeal some of the stricter rules for managing forex, it appears that the deficiency caused by these previous banking laws has pushed more Nigerians towards alternative currencies. In fact, Bitcoin adoption tends to skyrocket in countries facing rising inflation and declining confidence in their fiat currency.
With an average age of 18, Bitcoin is likely to offer an alternative to technically savvy youth as opposed to the usual government-controlled banking and financial engineering. During protests against police brutality in October, when the government ordered banks to freeze the accounts of the movement’s sponsors, protesters switched to BTC and donations in cryptocurrency without any problems.
According to Google Trends, Nigeria remains the number one global interest in Bitcoin search. However, clarity on regulation within the crypto and blockchain in the country is not yet a thing.
Back in September, the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced plans to establish a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies in the country. At the time, the Commission said it would regulate cryptocurrencies as securities unless proven otherwise.