- In 2020, 33% of Nigerians either used or owned cryptocurrency, according to a recent survey
- Cryptocurrency has become popular as a cheaper solution to sending money across borders especially in developing countries like Nigeria
- The survey result comes days after Nigeria's apex bank banned cryptocurrency trading in the country's financial market
A survey carried out by the World Economic Forum has revealed that Nigeria tops the list of countries using cryptocurrency globally.
According to the report, reliance on remittances and the prevalence of peer-to-peer phone payments have led to a steep rise in cryptocurrency use in Africa's largest economy.
It stated that out of 74 countries in the Statista Global Consumer Survey, Nigerians were the most likely to say they used or owned cryptocurrency.
Part of the report read:
“The high cost of sending money across borders the conventional way has caused many to turn to local cryptocurrency exchanges catering to overseas workers and their families. Nigerians also often use their phones to send money to each other or to pay in shops.”
The report comes days after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directed all banks in the country to close accounts of persons or entities involved in cryptocurrency transactions within their systems.
The directive was contained in a circular issued on Friday, February 5, distributed to deposit money banks, non-bank financial institutions, and other financial institutions by the CBN.
Meanwhile, Nigeria's former minister of education, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili has shared her thoughts on how the CBN should have handled its recent ban on cryptocurrency transactions.
Ezekwsili, an accomplished chartered accountant and former vice president of World Bank's Africa division, took to her Twitter page recently to reel out what the apex bank should do before dishing out such directives.
According to her, the CBN should have:
1. Map all the legitimate risks associated with cryptocurrency
2. Gather a subset of the super brilliant Nigerian young minds in the financial technology market and
3. Listen and learn more.
Jerrywright Ukwu is an Abuja-based senior political/defence correspondent at Legit.ng. He is a graduate of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos and the International Institute of Journalism in Abuja. He is also a member of the Nigeria Union of Journalists. He spends his leisure-time reading history books. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.