No doubt that the United States is a leading territory when it comes to the cryptocurrency revolution. The region boasts some of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world like Kraken and Coinbase, and the good old USA has done wonders when it comes to attracting new traders to the digital currency space, but it looks like the nation may soon lose its position due to growing activity in Nigeria.
Nigeria Is a Major Bitcoin Hub
Bitcoin has really experienced a surge in popularity within the country’s borders over the last two months largely due to the police brutality protests. The country’s government shut out protesters from gaining access to standard or traditional financial services and products, and many found themselves turning to bitcoin to garner the supplies they needed to continue their cause.
It wasn’t long before bitcoin transactions were accounting for roughly 40 percent of the financial activity pertaining to the protests. Those involved managed to raise roughly $400,000 using the digital currency, and the trend has really picked up since then. Over the last five years, Nigerians have traded more than 60,000 bitcoin units and engaged in roughly $566 million worth of crypto transactions.
This makes Nigeria the second-largest bitcoin and cryptocurrency-trading territory in the world, with the United States serving in the number one spot. However, it looks like the nation is beginning to catch up. Overall, bitcoin activity in Nigeria has increased close to 20 percent each year for the last three years.
One of the big use cases for bitcoin in Nigeria is remittance payments. This occurs when people are working abroad and must send money home to their families in the “old country.” Bitcoin and crypto have widely been promoted as solid remittance tools, and it looks like citizens are beginning to take advantage. Nena Nwachukwu – the Nigerian regional manager of Paxful – stated in a recent interview:
They mostly use the platform for peer-to-peer and arbitrage trading. Remittances is also a popular use case.
One of the reasons for this, she claims, is that using bitcoin is a lot less expensive and much faster than standard banking services such as wire transfers.
In addition, the Nigerian naira – the national fiat currency for the country – has been heading deeper and deeper into the doldrums, with the currency now being considered more unstable than ever. To an extent, Americans can potentially understand this given that the U.S. dollar has experienced heavy inflation over the last year, which is likely contributing to bitcoin’s surging popularity in the nation and its recent price jumps.
Cut Off Traditional Services and BTC Will Be the Answer
Eleanya Eke – co-founder of Buy Coins Africa – says:
People want to be able to buy and sell, transact internationally, and the more the traditional channels are being restricted, the more people trade crypto and mainly bitcoin.