Online tech mogul, Jack Patrick Dorsey, who is the founder and CEO of Square, and co-founder and CEO of Twitter, on Friday shared an article written by an Abuja-based reporter, Uwagbale Edward-Ekpu on qz(.)com, an international business news outfit. In the article, titled ‘Nigeria is now the No.2 bitcoin market on this fast-growing global marketplace‘ published on Friday 18th December 2020, Edward-Ekpu disclosed that Nigeria has traded 60,215 bitcoins valued at more than $566 million, in the last five years. He said bitcoin transactions in Nigeria saved the day for many conveners during the recent EndSARS protests when there was restrictions on local payment platforms to collect donations from abroad.
Referring to a report by Coin Dance, Edward-Ekpu said that bitcoin transactions has increased by about 19% since May 2015, and the year 2020 has witnessed the highest with 20,504.50 transactions by end of November. He noted that within a week during the protests against police brutality across the country, bitcoin accounted for about 40% of the total $400,000 raised in that timeframe.
Tech-savvy buyers and sellers in Nigeria are unsurprisingly gravitating towards peer-to-peer (P2P) platforms like Paxful to get transactions done, because it allows for decentralised and direct connection between buyer and seller without the encumbrance of third parties and government’s regulation of cryptocurrency. In Nigeria, Paxful reported a 137% increase in new registrations between January and September this year, 2020.
Paxful claims to have about 1.3 million users registered on its platform, from Nigeria. This is about a quarter of its total registered number on its platform.
The lockdown may have contributed to this upsurge for the year, regarding number of people doing transaction through bitcoin in Nigeria. Overseas remittances and online shopping have in the past decade become a commonplace in Nigeria. And with many more people unable to go out for shopping, and more people soliciting financial assistance from without, especially on the back of breakdown of businesses and loss of jobs, coupled with the fact that the country has a huge population, it was bound to happen.
Nigeria is second behind the USA, and a huge number ahead of countries like China, Canada, UK, Australia, South Africa, India, and Kenya, on Paxful. See screenshot of Quartz’s table below.