Nigerians traded at least N77.75bn ($185m) worth of Bitcoin in the first three months of the year despite the Central Bank of Nigeria’s restrictions on cryptocurrency transactions in the country.
This is a 5.71 per cent increase from the N73.54bn worth of Bitcoin that was traded in the corresponding period of 2021, according to data made available to our correspondent by Paxful, one of the major peer-to-peer cryptocurrency platforms in the nation.
Trade from Nigeria accounted for 25.87 per cent of the total N300.48bn ($715m) worth of Bitcoin that was traded on the platform in the quarter under review.
Nigerians beat CBN restrictions, trade N78bn Bitcoin in three months
Global trade on the platform showed an 8.33 per cent increase from the N277.377bn ($660m) that was traded on it in the corresponding period of 2021.
According to the firm, Nigeria was its largest trading country in 2021 with 16,000 daily trades. In the period under review, the market cap of BTC dropped by $36.90bn from $902.10bn as of January 1, 2022, to $865.20bn as of March 31, 2022.
This was despite the CBN’s restrictions on cryptocurrencies in the nation. In February of 2021, the CBN asked banks in the nation to stop transacting in and with entities dealing in crypto assets.
The bank said, “Further to earlier regulatory directives on the subject, the bank hereby wishes to remind regulated institutions that dealing in cryptocurrencies or facilitating payments for cryptocurrency exchanges is prohibited.”
Since the restriction, P2P trading of crypto, especially BTC, has increased. According to a 2021 report by Chainalysis, the nation is the sixth leading nation in the world in terms of crypto adoption.
A recent report by KuCoin, a crypto exchange with over 10 million registered users, disclosed that about 33.4 million Nigerians trade or own crypto assets.