Bitcoin Price Surge: Cryptocurrency Gains Acceptance in Nigeria

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Most Nigerians are actively searching for other means to secure their wealth. This is very important because the Nigerian Naira looses it’s value everyday.  Currently, the Nation’s economy is in recession. Therefore, it means that there is continued pressure on the naira even as the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed has projected the recovery of Nigeria’s economy within Q1 of 2021.

In response to the above, many Nigerians have found a financial resting place with cryptocurrencies. There are about six exchanges in Nigeria with NairaEx ranked as the largest.

Mayowa Tudonu, a software engineer is building crpto exchange products on the Ethereum Block chain. He also helped Interswitch to develop a cross-border payment system. Tudonu noted that

People who have to pay their kid’s school fees to send money to families are beginning to adopt Bitcoin as a form of remittance. I mean, we are looking at transaction volumes in terms of bitcoins of naira”

Block chain is gaining momentum in Nigeria. This is because the Nigerian youths of today are tech savvy, vibrant and resilient. In fact, most of them are self-taught forex and block-chain experts.

The recent #EndSARS protests in Nigeria is a live evidence of the wide acceptance and usage of cryptocurrency as most of the donations made to support the protest were done with digital assets and wallets. Furthermore, some service and education outlet have begun to accept payments in Bitcoin, Ethereum and other recognised cryptocurrencies.

What has Nigerian done with regards to Digital Assets and Cryptocurrency?

In 2017, the CBN declared that digital currencies are not legal tender in Nigeria. Furthermore, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a warningabout investing in cryptocurrency.

About three years later, major stakeholders in the Nigerian finance space have become involved in developing strategies for a nationwide block-chain adoption. This includes the self regulated SiBAN

On the 11th September, 2020 , the Nigerian SEC acknowledged that digital assets offerings provide alternative investment opportunities for the investing public. They further classified virtual crypto assets as securities. 

In addition, all Digital Assets Token Offering (DATO), Initial Coin Offering (ICOs), Security Token ICOs and other Block-chain based offers of digital assets within Nigeria or by Nigerian issuers or sponsors or foreign issuers targeting Nigerian investors shall be subject to the regulation of the commission. 

Crptocurrency outside Nigeria

Countries like Germany, Columbia and most recently, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have a wholistic legal framework for the operation of cryptocurrency, digital assets and wallets in the respective countries.
The UAE for instance, through it’s Central Bank has introduced the Stores Facilities Regulation for Physical and Digital Assets. 

The said Regulation defined crypto assets and expanded the definition of money to include crypto-assets and digital assets. The UAE digital assets regulation is a huge step towards not only the digitization of money in the UAE but especially as companies  like PayPal now accept payments in cryptocurrencies.

It is believed that with the implementation of the “Smart Nigeria Digital Economy” project, by the National Office for Trade Negotiation (NOTN),  the adoption of cryptocurrencies and digital assets as legal tender will be considered. We also look forward to the integration of Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin as a payment option in the Nigerian Finance space.

Do you think it’s wise to invest in cryptocurrencies? What do you think about the future of cryptocurrencies in Nigeria? Meanwhile, catch up on our latest gists on Who Takes Priority in a Man’s Life: Mother or Wife? and let us know what you think

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