Nigeria is one of the biggest bitcoin markets in the world, ranking fifth in cryptocurrency ownership globally. According to a 2020 report by Arcane Research, eleven percent of internet users in Nigeria own cryptocurrency compared to 13 percent in South Africa and seven percent worldwide.
So, how are Nigerian bitcoiners using the digital currency? Let’s find out!
As An Investment
Holding bitcoin as an investment is one of the most popular ways to use bitcoin in Nigeria. It’s also one of the most common ways of using bitcoin globally. “HODLing,” the crypto term for this investment method, entails buying bitcoin and holding it in a secure wallet to cash out for a (potential) profit at a later date. As the value of bitcoin increases, so does the value of your bitcoin holdings. For instance, if you had bought bitcoin slightly below $20,000, your holdings would now be worth almost three times their original value.
Sending bitcoin remittances is something that Nigerians have been taking advantage of for years.
Compared to conventional channels of sending money, with Western Union or MoneyGram, Nigerians abroad prefer to use bitcoin since it’s relative fast and reliable.
Also, it does not require the use of intermediaries, such as banks, which at the moment, are not facilitating payments for crypto exchanges thanks to recent orders from the Central Bank of Nigeria. By eliminating intermediaries, the cost of sending money declines.
For example, you can use a platform like Cryptofully to send remittances to Nigeria using bitcoin that settle in naira in the recipient’s bank account.
Merchants in Nigeria have been using bitcoin to pay for goods from China since it is faster and borderless. The use of bitcoin also enables merchants to maker larger transactions than if they were to use banks, which have daily limits of about $10,000. Furthermore, the shortage of US dollars and Chinese renminbi in Nigeria has pushed traders to bitcoin, which is more accessible than foreign exchange in the black market.
“Chinese exporters have expressed willingness to accept bitcoin payments for their goods. Hence, many business people in Nigeria find it more convenient to make such payments with bitcoin,” the founder of Blockchain Nigeria User Group, Chuta Chimezie, told Coindesk in an interview.
Therefore, you can consider using bitcoin when importing goods from China or when paying for services online. For instance, you could use bitcoin to pay a freelancer for designing your business logo.
As a bitcoin holder, you also have the option of topping up your Airtel, MTN, Glo, or 9Mobile line using bitcoin.
To do this, you can download the Cryptofully app and create an account. Once you have completed KYC and deposited bitcoin in your Cryptofully wallet, you can check out the ‘Bills” section where you will find all available providers under ‘Airtime.’
Next, you type in the amount of airtime you want to buy and your mobile number. Finally, you make the bitcoin payment and receive your airtime within minutes.
Trading is another way popular way for Nigerian to use bitcoin. It typically involves buying and selling bitcoin for a profit on peer-to-peer (P2P) marketplaces or over WhatsApp groups.
Nigeria is the largest bicoin peer-to-peer trading volume driver in Sub-Saharan Africa, as reported in a 2020 Arcane Research report. The country contributed 48.5 percent of the total weekly P2P trading volumes in Sub-Saharan Africa as of October 2020.
The #EndSARS campaign in 2020 showed that there is room for bitcoin donations in Nigeria.
Bitcoin allows you to send donations to movements or organisations you want to support without the need for a bank or payment processor. For instance, Helpers Social Development Foundation, an organisation that helps the underprivileged in Nigeria, accepts bitcoin donations.
Alternatively, you can raise bitcoin for a charitable cause close to your heart by setting up a bitcoin wallet, such as Cryptofullly, and adding your wallet address for crypto donations onto the website or social media platforms of your cause.
Nigerians are actively using bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for a wide range of use cases. As cryptocurrency adoption continues in Nigeria, we can expect to see even more ways of how Nigerians are using bitcoin.