Based on a recent report from Google Trends, the highest search interest for Bitcoin (BTC) globally comes from aspiring investors in Nigeria, followed by South Africa and Kenya—the top three cryptocurrency markets in Africa. However, that record is limited to trading activities on exchanges only and not widespread use or adoption.
Cryptocurrencies have struggled to get integrated into everyday use on the continent of about 1.2 billion people, responsible for over 50% of the global mobile money services. This is a completely bizarre phenomenon.
Why Has Cryptocurrency Not Received Major Integration In Nigeria and Africa?
While digital currencies are yet to be legalized in many countries, some countries are still skeptical about it. Most times, the inhibition towards cryptocurrencies is spurred by the seeming inability to regulate them.
Back in 2017, digital currencies were met with a very adverse reception when they entered Nigerian borders. The Central Bank of Nigeria passed a policy banning all financial institutions from engaging with digital currencies because they, digital currencies, were anonymous and untraceable, making them highly exploitable by bad actors.
Meanwhile, Infusion lawyers—a Lagos-based virtual law firm—spoke on the legality of cryptocurrency in West Africa in a report, which emphasized that there were no laws in Nigeria, Ghana, or Kenya that prohibited or criminalized cryptocurrency use.
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However, it is indisputable that some internet fraudsters in Africa have adopted cryptocurrency as their major mode of dealing, painting cryptocurrency in an even worse light.
Good News for Cryptocurrencies In Nigeria
In recent times, we’ve seen some positive developments regarding the future of cryptocurrency in Nigeria. In April this year, Nigeria got its very first crypto ATM installed in Lagos.
Meanwhile, it can be said that the devaluation of currencies sometimes bolsters a population’s desire for cryptocurrency.
In Venezuela, for instance, the Bolivar is still struggling to recover from the 97% devaluation it suffered in 2019. The government, at one point, initiated the Petro—the very first nation-backed digital currency—to help placate the economic turmoil in the country. However, it failed to launch because of concerns surrounding its legitimacy.
Quite similarly, the value of the Nigerian Naira has been in a freefall for years now. This could be partly as a result of the growing desire for cryptocurrency as citizens look for more secure and lucrative alternatives.
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Although traditional currencies are always going to be in existence in the foreseeable future, digital currencies will play more important roles in lives and economies as people try to keep up with global trends.
Meanwhile, a new breed of cryptocurrency-based companies is starting to sprout up around the country and is promising a brighter future for cryptos in Nigeria. One such company is Patricia.
What is Patricia?
Founded by Fejiro Hanu Adeboje in 2017, Patricia is a leading Nigerian cryptocurrency company that deals in Giftcard, Bitcoin, Patricia Card, and other digital assets.
This platform makes it possible for you to trade Giftcards and Bitcoin in a safe, smooth, and transparent manner and store them in a BTC or Local Currency wallet for use in basic everyday purchases and transactions.
Once you create an account with the company, you can make digital currency payments and transactions anywhere you are, round the clock.
Patricia takes security very seriously and has implemented industry-standard cybersecurity protocols to deter bad actors from using the platform. To open an account the user needs to go by the strict KYC and AML regulations, which makes Patricia accounts as secure as traditional bank accounts.
Although the activities of companies like Patricia can be very favorable considering that it adds to the country’s economic growth, it might not have a major impact on Nigeria’s financial system.