Bitcoin adoption in Africa was being spearheaded by South Africa, Kenya, and Ghana, until recently. In fact, the year 2016 witnessed the upward improvement of Bitcoin penetration in the Federal Republic of Nigeria in an encouraging dimension.
In October 2016, a Nigerian based Exchange BitX announced that their wallet on Google Play Store recorded 100,000 downloads. Besides the increase in volume, the exchange also stated among other things that the price rate was also lucrative. For instance, when Bitcoin price was around $800, Nigerians were buying it at $1000.
Many analysts are confident the drift will keep growing to the extent where Nigeria may overtake countries like Kenya and Ghana.
We sought to find out what is driving this positive move in the West African Nation.
E. A. Afolabi, CEO of Exact Group, an Information Technology outfit in Lagos Nigeria is convinced Nigeria will lead in adoption sooner than later. “We are going to be in the lead. We are not good at starting, but we will benefit in anything until it is not existing,” Afolabi stated.
The IT expert explained that Nigerians are making use of Bitcoin to make life easier in so many spheres of life. According to him, Satoshis facilitates activities like MMM, Zarfund, Online Shopping, Forex and cross-border trading for his compatriots.
On the perception of the government on Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies, Afolabi is of the view that the government should overcome its inexperience. “The recent Security and Exchange Commission (SEC)’s warning to Nigerians to beware of Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies are uncalled for, and ignorance at best.” He further stated that “The government will do all Nigeria’s an invaluable service by finding out the immense benefits of Bitcoin.”
From Afolabi’s scope, the biggest challenge facing Bitcoin in the Africa’s most populous country is the distrust of online-based activities. “Bitcoin is already in Nigeria, but the fear of online is the challenge most of the illiterates and few scholars are afraid of. Most believe that anything online is fraudulent,” he related.
Meanwhile, 59.6% of the total population of the dwellers of the River Niger are Literates.
It is also worth noting that only 32.5 percent of the adult population in Nigeria have access to Bank Accounts. The situation makes Cryptocurrency extremely ideal for adoption.
To have your bank account on your smartphone is exciting for many Nigerians. And Nigeria is awash with Smartphones. Needless to say, this Sub-Sahara African country is one of the most bureaucratic countries in the world.
Refreshingly, all factors indicate that Bitcoin will thrive astonishingly well in Nigeria and the future is radiant. “In the next five years, even in the village, they will be using Bitcoin to buy from China,” Afolabi, concluded excitedly.