In 2020, Paxful, a leading crypto P2P global marketplace announced Nigeria as its 2nd largest Bitcoin trader in the world after the US, amounting for about $566 Million i.e 60,215 Bitcoins traded in the last 5 years.
If you asked me, I’d say that’s a whole lot of Bitcoins traded.
During the October 2020 #EndSars protest that rocked the country, the government shut down the bank accounts of several protesters in a bid to cripple funding for the protest, but Bitcoin saved the day, accounting for about 44% of the entire money (about $170,000) raised.
This tells a lot about how much Bitcoin is taking shape in a Country where Fiat has been so devalued that it has lost its appreciation power.
However, this rise in Bitcoin use isn’t unprecedented. It is actually due to certain reasons, all including; The predominantly young population of the Country, The Country’s status as a technological hub, and of course, The Naira which is the most unstable and deciding factor in this equation, and a major reason as to why most people are switching over to Bitcoin daily.
In Nigeria, there is a growing list of freelance workers. However, monetary policies from the government and the central bank make it hard for these young freelancers to be able to accept payment from overseas clients.
PayPal services are also currently not available in the country as Nigerian PayPal accounts can only send from one Nigerian PayPal account to another Nigerian PayPal account, but cannot receive payments, and local banks amass more money cuts and overall stress that no freelancer is willing to go through.
I spoke to Temmy, a 300l English Language student of the University of Lagos and a proofreader from Upwork, and she had this to say,” When I first learned I could make money online, I felt stupid for wasting my time doing nothing all along as I felt I could have started making money earlier on, but soon after, I felt happy that I could actually still make money online. Not long after my happiness bout, my happiness turned to sadness when I found out that I couldn’t receive payment for my services simply because I lived here in Nigeria.”
“However, one day some months back, my elder brother who worked as an architect in Benin told me about how he invested his savings in Bitcoin, how his friends were all investing as well, and how Bitcoin was going to be the new money in the future. I knew I had found just what I was looking for. To cut my long story short, I opened an account on Binance, a crypto trading platform I discovered online, and today, I’ve made over $1000 in Bitcoin working part-time as a freelance proofreader on Upwork.”
“I will love to be able to learn how to be better as I believe there are a whole lot of opportunities out there waiting for me and other young Nigerians, and I do not have to worry about receiving payment for my services as all I need is just my Bitcoin wallet address.”
As of the time of writing this article, Bitcoin traded in a price range of between $38,000 to $40,000 and is expected to reach a bullish $200,000 “conservative” estimate for year-end 2021 according to predictions by Former Adaptive Capital partner, Willy Woo.
Even if the price doesn’t skyrocket that high, you can be rest assured that the value of Bitcoin is definitely going to be increasing based on trends in the last few months, and you can be sure that more and more Nigerians will be jumping on the Bitcoin bandwagon, as more Bitcoin platforms are making it easier to exchange Bitcoin, and more Nigerians in the Diaspora are using Bitcoin as a way of remittance of funds into the country.