Nigerians traded approximately $185 million worth of bitcoin between January and March 2022 on Paxful, one of the leading P2P crypto platforms on the continent.
According to Paxful, this is a 5.71% increase from the $175.3 million worth of bitcoin that was traded during the corresponding period of 2021. Moreover, daily trades by Nigerians averaged up to 16, 000 in 2021, making the West African nation the leading source of trades on the P2P platform.
Transactions by Nigerians accounted for 25.87% of the total worth of BTC traded on the trading platform in Q1 2022. Meanwhile, Paxful reported that the entire worth of bitcoin transactions on its platform stood at $715 million during this period.
This positive number come despite government actions limiting crypto trades within financial institutions. Besides, in the period under review, the market cap of bitcoin dropped by $36.90 billion from $902.10 billion, as of January 1, 2022, to $865.20 billion as of March 31 2022.
In February 2021, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) asked banks in the nation to stop transacting in and with entities dealing in crypto assets. The ban restricts all financial institutions across the country from facilitating crypto exchanges for crypto with the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, charging that cryptocurrencies threatened the country’s financial sector.
Since the ban was imposed, CBN has fined 5 top Nigerian banks, including Access Bank, GT Bank, and Fidelity Bank, a total of $3.4 million as a result of contraventions and infractions of its guidelines.
In October 2021, Nigeria became the first country in the world to introduce a retail Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), with the bank now intensifying sensitization campaigns among residents and business people terming the CBDC better than bitcoin.
According to reports from Nigeria, blockchain stakeholders in the country are now calling on the government to reconsider its stance given that 15 months since the ban, cryptocurrencies continue to be adopted and there are no significant risks that the CBN should be afraid of.