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Nigeria Leads Africa In Cryptocurrency Adoption Despite Regulatory Challenges

Nigeria maintains the highest cryptocurrency usage in Africa and stands among the most advanced countries worldwide, displaying an annual growth rate of 9% despite recent fluctuations in Bitcoin interest.

By Anna B Kiwanuka

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Despite directives from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) restraining licensed banks from involvement in cryptocurrency activities, Nigeria’s crypto market has persisted and solidified its position as a crucial transactional platform in sub-Saharan Africa.

With a population of 223 million, Nigeria stands as one of Africa’s fastest-growing nations and boasts one of the youngest demographics globally, with 43% of its populace under the age of 15, as highlighted in a study by the United Nations and Interest.

Nigeria maintains the highest cryptocurrency usage in Africa and stands among the most advanced countries worldwide, displaying an annual growth rate of 9%, as per a Chainalysis report, despite recent fluctuations in Bitcoin interest. The report places Nigeria third among six countries with sustained growth since 2021.

Stablecoins have emerged as the preferred crypto assets in Nigeria due to their ties to the US dollar, serving as a hedge against inflation and the devaluation of the naira. Presently, USDT holds the top position as the most extensively traded stablecoin in Nigeria.

Businesses within Nigeria and its diaspora have increasingly adopted USDT and other stablecoins for facilitating transactions. It’s becoming commonplace for Nigerian tour operators to quote package prices in US dollars and offer USDT as a payment alternative.

The naira, Africa’s worst-performing currency, has experienced an 80% devaluation against the US dollar this year alone.

Despite recent price retractions, Bitcoin has concluded the year on a robust note. If today marked the end of 2023, the leading digital asset would have seen an almost 150% increase, marking its most impressive performance since 2020 when it soared by an exceptional 305%.


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