Nigeria’s Foreign Currency Crisis Boon for Bitcoin: Country Tops Wallet Downloads Ahead of the US

Nigeria’s weakening naira currency, as well as the shortage of U.S. dollars, are forcing businesses to switch to bitcoin as the means of settling payments for international transactions. Nigerian businesses need the American currency to buy new supplies, as well as to order essential equipment from abroad. However, formal sources of foreign currency like banks are failing to meet this demand.

According to a report by the Nigerian publication, Businessday, even Bureau De Change (BDCs), the popular alternative sources of foreign currency in Nigeria, are unable to meet the high demand for dollars.

An anonymous source tells the publication that “in recent times, a few BDCs have tried to take an education in bitcoin operation.” The education efforts are now paying off as “many of them (businesspeople) are coming to ask us how it works, and the ones that already know are switching to BTC for international trade.”

Cryptocurrencies have gained prominence in Nigeria given their use as a medium for settling cross border payments and for remittances. The global pandemic and the associated restrictions on movement appear to have spurred on a new wave of demand for bitcoin. More Nigerians are exploring cryptocurrencies as shown by the number cryptocurrency wallets downloaded.

For instance, data from Local.Bitcoin.com shows that Nigeria overtook the United States as the country with the most downloads of the Bitcoin.com Wallet in the past week.

Out of the 18,613 wallets downloaded between 16 and 10 August, 3,473 were from Nigeria which shows the country is well ahead of the 2,802 from the United States. India is a distant third with a total of 1,420 downloads during the same period.

Data from Usefultulips also shows that Nigeria is one of the countries with high peer to peer bitcoin traded volumes in the world.

The publication also highlights the report by Blockchain.com which shows the country leading the African continent in terms of peer-to-peer traded bitcoin volumes….

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