Bitcoin value in Nigeria surges as cash-free society initiative expands

The price of Bitcoin ($BTC) in Nigeria has surged significantly compared to global values, looking at more than 60% as a premium price for users and investors in the country.

Currently, the price of Bitcoin globally is around $23,600. In Nigeria, it is sitting at 17.8 million Naira, which equates to a massive $38,700. The surge is as a result of a high demand for the cryptocurrency in the country leading to a sharp incline as more users look to buy from local exchanges in the market.

The high demand for Bitcoin in Nigeria comes as the Central Bank of Nigeria is encouraging and imposing protocols to gear the country towards a cash-free system. This includes ATM cash restrictions in the  drive towards digital cash and cryptocurrencies.

Why is Nigeria becoming a cash-free society?

The Central Bank of Nigeria is looking to create a digital-centric financial systems for a number of reasons:

Adoption of mobile money and digital payments

More and more users are leaning towards making use of digital cash. The widespread use of smartphones and mobile internet, mobile money, and digital payment systems means that users can access funds without relying on having a bank account or being involved in the traditional banking system.

Digital payments also offer greater convenience and accessibility compared to traditional methods, such as cash transactions.

Increased trust in technology

As technology improves and becomes more widely adopted, people are becoming more confident in using digital payment options.

Financial inclusion and reduced corruption

The Nigeria government’s cash-free move is as part of initiatives to encourage the adoption of digital payments in an effort to increase financial inclusion and reduce corruption.

Going cash-free or limiting the bank notes in circulation also limits the risk of money laundering. With this, the Central Bank of Nigeria has also noted that old Naira bills with be make functionless at the end of January and only new bills, which will be traceable, will be available for use.

Which African countries are leading crypto adoption?

Africa, with developing economies, is one of the leading continents benefitting from Bitcoin adoption. This is because crypto is able to offer financial inclusion to financial users who do not have access to banks, thus known as “banking the unbanked”. It also means that global payments are easier, quicker, and cheaper. This is popular for remittance payments as family members send money to those in other countries.

According to data collated by Chainalysis, the countries leading crypto adoption are:

Nigeria

With a large and growing youth population, high levels of smartphone adoption, and a rapidly expanding e-commerce sector, Nigeria is one of the most active countries in Africa for Bitcoin adoption. This comes hand-in-hand with the cash-free move in the country.

South Africa

South Africa has a large population that do not have access to banks. With a well-developed financial sector, a strong online market, and a growing tech industry, it has become one of the most advanced countries in Africa when it comes to cryptocurrency adoption.

Kenya

Kenya has a strong mobile money industry and a government that has been supportive of financial technology innovations. With crypto-friendly regulation and a powerful tech adoption rate, Bitcoin continues to become one of the popular investment and payment options.

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