Bitcoin remains a popular cryptocurrency, despite its value dropping like a brick over the past 48 hours. In Nigeria, Bitcoin continues to be embraced by consumers and enterprises. Most people still see it as an investment vehicle, but it also a valuable tool to bypass expensive remittance solutions. The future of Bitcoin looks bright in Nigeria, and things continue to improve.
Similarly to most African nations, Nigeria heavily relies on affordable money transfer services. Bitcoin provides the perfect solution in this regard. With its global accessibility, Bitcoin is often said to send money to and from the country, without paying ridiculous fees. Moreover, cryptocurrency is being used fairly often in online business transactions.
Fueling the demand for Bitcoin is the ongoing economic issues plaguing Nigeria. With the Naira depreciated by over 40% in the second half of 2016, things are not looking great. Exchanging the Naira to foreign currency is virtually impossible for mainstream consumers and most enterprises. The country also went through its worst recession in decades, driving people towards alternative financial solutions.
Interestingly enough, Bitcoin’s popularity mostly stems forth from the MMM Pyramid Scheme. Despite these schemes being inherently evil, a lot of Nigerians benefit from the program. Moreover, it boosted the Bitcoin adoption in the country. Now that starts and companies are venturing into Bitcoin for legitimate reasons, things are looking very promising.
Consumers are also investing in Bitcoin as a way to hedge against future Naira depreciation. For now, Bitcoin transactions and investments remain untaxed, and the currency is safer to keep compared to cash or funds in bank accounts. But the real kicker is lower transaction costs. Right now, over 100,000 merchants in Nigeria accept Bitcoin payments for products and services.
Despite this positive trend, it is important to remember Bitcoin remains a volatile market. The past few weeks have indicated how things can go up and down in quick succession. Investing in Bitcoin is always a risk, but no bigger risk than any other investment opportunity. It is good to see the cryptocurrency gain traction in Nigeria.