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Nigerians’ use of bitcoin increases despite the CBN’s ban

Despite the Central Bank of Nigeria’s restrictions on cryptocurrency transactions in the country, Paxful, a cryptocurrency trading platform, has reported a surge in Bitcoin transactions.

By Anna B Kiwanuka

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Nigerians have been among the top bitcoin dealers over the past seven months, according to cryptocurrency trading platform, Paxful. This has happened despite the Central Bank of Nigeria’s restrictions on cryptocurrency transactions in the country and the crashing prices of cryptocurrencies globally.

Paxful said in a statement on Monday that the volumes of funds sent by Nigerians between the months of October 2021 and May 2022 on the platform had doubled.

The statement read, “Paxful, the leading global peer-to-peer (P2P) fintech platform has announced that weekly transactions on the Lightning Network have increased tremendously. In Nigeria, the volume of money being sent out on Lightning has doubled from October 2021 to May 2022.”

Paxful further revealed that since the platform started integrating with the Lightning Network in September 2021, the volume of deposits has climbed five times globally and has increased by 54% in April.

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Nigeria was among the nations with the largest Bitcoin trading volume in the first week of May this year, according to Ray Youssef, the CEO, and creator of Paxful.

“In the first week of May, Nigeria was one of the countries with the highest Bitcoin trade volume on Paxful alongside the United States, Ghana, China, and Kenya. Today, we have over 70 countries using Lightning on Paxful,” Youssef said.

Nigerians traded at least N77.75bn ($185m) worth of Bitcoin in the first three months of this year, according to Paxful, which is a 5.71 percent increase from the N73.54bn worth of Bitcoin that was traded in the corresponding period of 2021.

Recall that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) ordered banks in the country to avoid transacting in and with entities that are dealing in crypto assets in February 2021.

The bank said, “Further to earlier regulatory directives on the subject, the bank hereby wishes to remind regulated institutions that dealing in cryptocurrencies or facilitating payments for cryptocurrency exchanges is prohibited.”

However, Senator Ihenyen, the General Secretary of the Nigerian Blockchain Industry Coordinating Committee and President of the Stakeholders in Blockchain Technology Association, requested the CBN to change its position on cryptocurrencies.


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