Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies that have no physical form. Cryptocurrencies were created as a medium of exchange like normal currencies.
According to Investopedia.com cryptocurrency is a decentralized “digital or virtual currency that uses cryptography for security” making it difficult to counterfeit. Unlike fiat which is issued by governments, anyone with the technical know-how can create a cryptocurrency, that’s why there are over a 1,000 cryptocurrencies.
The most popular cryptocurrency is Bitcoin as it was the first cryptocurrency that was created and as of January 8th, it had a market capitalisation of over $150 million. Other popular cryptocurrencies include Ethereum, Ripple’s XRP, Litecoin, USDT and Bitcoin Cash.
Apart from buying and selling Bitcoin to make a profit, Nigerians use Bitcoin to carry out cross border transactions like paying for goods and services as well as receiving payments from clients.
Based on an analysis of several platforms here are the top 5 places to buy Bitcoin in Nigeria as well as other cryptocurrencies:
Quidax is an easy to use cryptocurrency exchange in Nigeria. Unlike most platforms that are hard for beginners to understand. Quidax is perfect for both beginners and experts alike. You can use either their website or their mobile app.
The Features of Quidax include:
● Ease of Navigation
● Provides a wallet service
● Instant deposit: You can buy Bitcoin with your debit card USSD or bank transfer.
● Instant withdrawal: You can sell your Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies and withdrawal to any Nigerian bank. Compared to other platforms you will get an alert almost immediately. Also, you can withdraw at any time of the day including weekends.
● Reliable customer support
● Low fees
● You can buy/sell Bitcoin, Litecoin, USDT, Ethereum, Ripple’s XRP
● You can start with as low as 200 Naira
● No Live chat
2. Local Bitcoins
Local Bitcoins is a peer-to-peer platform that brings together buyers and sellers. The platform provides a holding service (escrow) to prevent buyers and sellers from being cheated. Local Bitcoin has been around for some time.
It functions as an escrow which matches buyers and sellers together. As an escrow what they do is to hold the seller’s bitcoin until the seller confirms that they have been paid by the buyer. This way, neither the seller nor the buyer gets cheated.
Although you need to accept that sellers will likely sell Bitcoin at a higher than the market rate. Also, it’s important you consider security when buying from Local Bitcoins.
● Reliable customer service
● Operates in several countries
● Accepts a wide range of payment methods
● You can’t store your bitcoin on this platform
● You can only buy Bitcoin
● Slightly confusing for beginners
● You are dealing with individuals directly and thus there is a risk of loss of funds.
Similar to LocalBitcoins, Paxful is a peer to peer exchange. A peer to peer exchange is a meeting point for both buyers and seller.
Like most peer to peer platforms, Paxful does not provide wallet services.
This gives room for users to select where they want to store their own Bitcoin, although, for a beginner, it brings another dimension on selecting where to store their bitcoin.
● Reliable customer support
● Ease of use
● Bitcoin is the only cryptocurrency
● There are fraudsters looking to scam unsuspecting individuals. So, security is of importance when using this platform.
4. Blockvila (formerly NGexchanger)
Blockvila directly buys & sells bitcoin to people, just like your foreign exchange mallam. This model ensures trust since you are dealing directly with the platform. However, you might experience a delay in your transactions depending on the day and time you want to buy/sell.
On Blockvila you can sell or buy a minimum of $20 on Blockvila and with an unverified account, you have a funding limit of $500 per day. It takes a period of 24 - 48 hours to get verified on Blockvila.
● Provides wallet services
● Buy/Sell Steem, EOS, Tron and Bitcoin Gold.
● Account Verification takes up to 48 hours
● Minimum Buy/Sell of $20
● Process of buying/selling Bitcoin is not automated
NairaEx is a Nigerian based exchange. NairaEx previously enabled other users to trade other cryptocurrencies but you currently can only buy Bitcoin from NairaEx.
For Bitcoin, the minimum amount you can buy on NairaEx is 30,000 Naira.
In terms of security, NairaEx does not offer two-factor authentication so you need to ensure that your password is super secure.
If you want to refer your friends, NairaEx has a referral program although you have to be a verified user.
● Enables quick Bitcoin transactions
● Difference between buying and selling price
● Doesn’t offer wallet services
● No mobile app
To conclude buying cryptocurrency in Nigeria can be simple and easy especially if you select the right platform. Quidax appears to be that platform, especially if you are looking to buy Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency for the first time. Cryptocurrency experts tend to use several platforms in order to make money.