Curious About Bitcoin, Nigerians See Increasing Opportunities to Buy and Spend Cryptocurrencies
Although it’s the continent’s largest economy, Nigeria is facing numerous economic and social challenges. Last year it overtook India as the country with the largest population living in extreme poverty, almost 87 million of its 200 million people. In the past two years, the Nigerian economy has returned to growth but since last summer inflation has been rising too, with the annual inflation rate almost touching 12% in December 2019.
Nigeria has consistently topped the chart in the past 12 months. Only a couple of other African nations, Ghana and South Africa, come close.
Scams taking advantage of the desperate and warnings issued by the central bank against Bitcoin have not deterred Nigerians from trying to learn more about cryptocurrencies, buying coins and using them in everyday life. For example, after a decrease, last fall, trading volumes on the peer-to-peer exchange Localbitcoins are picking up again, reaching over 600 million Nigerian nairas a week, or $1.65 million, according to data compiled by Coin Dance.
Nigerians Have Many Options to Trade and Use Bitcoin
Cryptocurrencies provide an economical alternative to the fiat system, but in order to be a viable option a functioning trading and exchange infrastructure is needed. Luckily, Nigeria has a number of local platforms that support purchases and sales of digital coins with the national currency, the naira. Options include Nairaex, which is the largest local crypto exchange supporting several payment methods to buy and sell BTC including bank transfers, and bitcoin remittance platform Bitpesa. The latter works with M-Pesa, a popular mobile phone-based money transfer service initially launched in Kenya and Tanzania. Nigerians can use Bitpesa to buy bitcoin with debit cards. They can also take advantage of the services offered by Wallet.ng, Busha, Tradefada, Bitfxt, and many more.