Despite government crackdowns, Nigeria’s cryptocurrency adoption rate is still rising

Despite the government crackdown, Nigeria’s cryptocurrency adoption rate continues to rise, with Bitcoin’s peer-to-peer (P2P) transaction volume last month setting the second highest week on record.

According to the data from Google TrendsAs of this writing, Nigeria is still ranked by search interest for the keyword “Bitcoin”. According to Useful Tulips data, P2P bitcoin transactions denominated in Nigerian Naira will also grow steadily in 2021. Nigeria is second only to the United States, becoming the second largest market for peer-to-peer BTC transactions.

The increasing adoption of Bitcoin in Nigeria has helped Sub-Saharan Africa become the leading region in P2P transaction volume. The region released $18.8 million Last week’s weekly trading volume surpassed North America’s $18 million.

Weekly P2P transaction volume (USD equivalent) by region:

The confluence of political and economic crises has stimulated the adoption of local cryptocurrencies, including social repression, currency control and rampant inflation.

Since then, tensions in Nigeria have escalated OctoberAfter large-scale public protests against police brutality, the infamous SARS police force swept the country.

During the EndSars protest, the protesters were attacked by tear gas and water cannons. A total of more than 50 civilians were killed, 12 of whom were killed by police with live ammunition. October 20.

The government crackdown also saw economic repression. Social organizations supported the protesters through food and medical assistance, and soon discovered that their bank accounts were frozen. In violent incidents, protesters are increasingly turning to cryptocurrencies in order to keep their economic activities out of government control.

Adewunmi Emoruwa, the founder of Gatefield, a public policy organization whose account was suspended for providing funding to journalists covering the protests, attributed Nigeria’s recent hostility to crypto assets to the October protests. Tell protector:

“I think EndSars is like a key catalyst for some of the decisions that the government is making. It causes fear. For example, they see that people can decide to bypass government structures and institutions to mobilize.”

An anonymous source who claimed to represent a social organization whose bank account was targeted during the turmoil also told the publication that despite the financial embargo, their organization was still able to pay members’ salaries in cryptocurrency.

They said: “We keep some securities in cryptocurrency-not many but enough, kind of like an insurance policy.” “When the ban happened, thank goodness, we were able to pay wages.”

In February, the government banned licensed banks from Processing cryptocurrency transactions Attempt to combat the adoption of digital assets.

However, the steady increase in P2P Bitcoin transaction volume in Nigeria shows that the country’s growing crypto user base has largely been moved underground in order to obtain crypto assets from outside the government’s authority.

Marius Reitz, the African general manager of Luno, a cryptocurrency trading platform, told the Guardian that Nigeria’s ban will only make cryptocurrency transactions more difficult to monitor. He said:

“Many trading activities have now been pushed underground, which means that many Nigerians now rely on less secure and less transparent over-the-counter channels, as well as Telegram and WhatsApp groups where people trade directly with each other.”

The government’s measures to suppress cryptocurrencies have also received internal criticism. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo Publicly condemned the ban in February.

related: Why Bitcoin is 86,000 USD in Nigeria?This is why BTC premiums in certain countries are high

Although the country is hostile to decentralized crypto assets, Nigeria is currently exploring the development of a central bank digital currency (CBDC).

In late July, the Bank of Nigeria revealed its plans Start trialing its CBDC From October 1 this year.