BTC Usage in Africa Intensifying, Nigeria’s Naira is 2nd to USD on P2P Exchanges

Bitcoin adoption in Africa continues to ramp up.

On peer-to-peer bitcoin exchange platform, Paxful and LocalBitcoins, Nigeria’s Naira accounted for $9 million of trading volume each week.

This growing usage has Nigeria’s Naira second most used currency after the US Dollar.

Africa has been breaking P2P exchange volume records for some time now, with Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, and Central Africa seeing new weekly highs.

“Africa had ANOTHER record week on global P2P markets. In all, over 13M in USD equivalent was traded across 18 African currencies and this was the first week on record where African volume exceeded Latin American volume on these P2P exchanges,” noted Matt Aholborg, creator of UsefulTulips.

A few months back, Bitcoin proponent Jack Dorsey, co-founder and CEO of Twitter said: “Africa will define the future of Bitcoin.”

Expanding Into Africa

Given the rising volumes, Bitcoin is in fact, getting special attention in Africa. Crypto platform Luno, where Nigeria’s Naira is also making new highs is also in talks about expanding in Kenya and Ghana.

“It’s a market we have a keen interest in, and Ghana and Kenya are high on our list,” Luno General Manager Marius Reitz told Bloomberg. Recently, they moved beyond South Africa and Nigeria to start operating in Uganda and Zambia.

The South African company now employs 400 people across seven offices in Africa, Asia, and Europe. Luno raised $3 million in funding in 2015, led by Africa’s biggest company, Cape Town-based technology investor Naspers.

Founded seven years ago, the exchange has now four million users and is adding about a million customers amidst the Covid-19 led shutdown.

Investors in South Africa are also using Bitcoin as a hedge against the 23% depreciation in their currency Rand this year against the dollar.

A Lucrative Market

Recently, Luno launched a documentary called “Banking on Africa: The Bitcoin Revolution,” which will air on Amazon Prime starting Friday.

Notably, Uganda, Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, and Ghana are noted to be the top 10 countries that are searching for the term “cryptocurrency” on Google.

Arcane Research also launched a report on the State of Crypto in Africa in collaboration with Luno which talks about 13% of South African internet users owning crypto which provides it with third place throughout the world.

At fifth spot is Nigeria, whose 11% of internet users own crypto while the worldwide average for the same is 7%.

The reason behind this growth is the huge remittance market of Sub-Saharan Africa, which relies on slow and centralized systems that charge a fee as high as 9 to 11%. Moreover, political instability and inflation concerns are also driving them to transact $4.5 million worth of crypto every day.

But the continent lacks infrastructure including internet connectivity, smartphone penetration, and crypto mining operations which are hindering the reach of crypto among Africans.

Besides Luno, Binance and BuyCoins are also entering the lucrative African market.

This article is Originally posted on
Author: AnTy

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