It might come as something of a surprise to those unfamiliar with the topic, but Nigeria is home to one of the biggest cryptocurrency markets in the world. In fact, according to a recent poll published by Statista, almost a third (32%) of the country’s adult populace said they had the experience of trading in cryptocurrencies in 2020.
That’s more than 10 percentage points greater than the nearest competitors, which were Vietnam and the Philippines with 21% and 20%, respectively. But which cryptocurrencies, in particular, are popular in Nigeria? And how can you jump on the bandwagon and become involved in this burgeoning new industry? Read on to find out.
The top cryptos in Nigeria today
When it comes to cryptocurrencies in Nigeria, Bitcoin is undoubtedly the front runner. In fact, estimates published in February showed that everyday Nigerians had traded almost $600 million in bitcoin over the last five years, making it the second-largest bitcoin market in the world behind the United States. But while bitcoin is certainly the most popular form of crypto in the country, it’s not the only horse in the race.
Another major crypto that is enjoying significant activity in Africa’s most populous country is Ethereum, otherwise known as Ether. Capable of handling multiple transactions simultaneously and processing them at a speed far greater than bitcoin, Ethereum is also popular due to its environmental credentials. Whereas bitcoin functions via a “proof-of-work” system, which consumes vast amounts of electricity, Ethereum operates via the more sustainable “proof-of-stake” blueprint. This means it’s an eco-friendly choice for consumers.
Other cryptocurrencies which are going from strength to strength in Nigeria include Ripple (XRP), Dash (DASH) and Monero (XMR). But while these are steadily becoming more commonplace across the country, the cumulative value of all of their transactions put together is still dwarfed by the amount of money traded in bitcoin.
How can I get involved in crypto trading?
Nigeria is notable for the youthful nature of its population, which means that a large percentage of them are tech-savvy and keen to profit from this new sector. What’s more, the success stories of other entrepreneurs are fueling excitement for cryptocurrencies in the country, even if the government do not share that enthusiasm.
Indeed, the ruling party imposed a clampdown on crypto trading via banks and other financial institutions in 2017, though it was largely ignored until this year. In February, the government doubled down on its stance and many people with sizable crypto assets to their name suddenly found themselves unable to access their capital.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can buy cryptocurrencies in Nigeria without falling foul of the law, it’s important to understand that the funds can only be bought using international credit or debit cards or by using peer-to-peer (P2P) lending networks. Having said that, as long as you do your homework and read up on both the regulations and risks involved in cryptocurrencies before you begin, there’s no reason why you can’t become another success story, too.
Cryptocurrencies have taken off in a big way in Nigeria, with bitcoin, Ethereum and several others leading the charge. Will you take the plunge and invest?