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Nigeria leads the way towards Bitcoin adoption in Africa

Photo of: Joseph Stone
by Joseph Stone

With more than 8 million dollars per week, Nigeria is the African champion in Bitcoin transfer ahead of South Africa and Kenya whose weekly transfer amount in Bitcoin is 7 and 2 million dollars respectively.

In a report published by Chainalysis, it was shown that the transfers of cryptographic currencies to and from Africa of less than 10,000 dollars have increased by 55% in one year to reach the bar of 316 million in June.

The blockchain research company said in the report that transfers increased by more than half. The majority of these transfers are made in English-speaking Africa, especially in Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa.

African nations share some key similarities and trends. Economic challenges, ranging from high inflation rates and volatile currencies to financial issues such as capital controls and lack of banking infrastructure, as well as demographic and societal trends, with a young and rapidly growing mobile native population, make Africa well suited for the rapid adoption of cryptocurrencies.

For example, over the past 12 months, Google Search data shows that Uganda, Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya and Ghana are all ranked in the top 10 on the Bitcoin theme.

Similarly, between two recent surveys, one showed that among Internet users who had a cryptocard, South Africa ranked third worldwide with 13%, while Nigeria ranked fifth with 11%. Another showed that 16% of South Africans with Internet access had used or owned a cryptocard, ranking only behind Turkey, Brazil and Colombia.

Paxful has been very successful in Africa. The service has more than three million subscriptions, 45% of which are from Africa, and is growing rapidly. In fact, the U.S., Nigeria and Ghana reached 15 million exchanges last year, a 65% increase over the previous year.

Significant interchanges are also developing in Africa. Just last year, Binance launched Binance Uganda, a cryptographic currency exchange that allows direct conversion of Ugandan Shillings into Bitcoin.

According to researcher Matt Ahlborg, Ghana’s volume of peer-to-peer LocalBitcoins and Paxful exchanges increased to about $6.2 million over the 90-day blocking period, up from about $4.2 million over the previous 90-day period.

And activity in the Nigerian bitcoin market is nearly 10 times higher than in Ghana. Ahlborg’s figures show that Nigerian bitcoin trade reached about $63.9 million during the blockade period.

Since 60 percent of Africa’s 1.25 billion people are under the age of 25, local traders, as well as the cryptocurrency giants, are betting on future growth.

Jack Dorsey said last December that Africa will be the hub for the development of cryptocurrencies. Year after year, users and pro-cryptos initiatives are growing in Africa. At this point, it’s almost certain we will find an Africa leader in cryptocurrencies by 2050.