The latest crackdown by Nigeria’s top financial regulators on cryptocurrency has obviously raised outrage among many young Nigerians, taking into consideration that the citizens of Africa’s largest economy have shown their love for Bitcoin more than any nation.
Recent data retrieved from the world’s most popular search engine, Google, revealed that Africa’s largest crypto market, home to over 200 million people, emerged as the first amongst other countries by a long-distance over its interest in the world’s most popular cryptocurrency.
Using local geographical metrics, Delta State has the highest level of Bitcoin interests on state level, followed by Anambra, Ekiti, Enugu, Ondo, Ebonyi, Bayelsa, Osun, Edo, and Imo.
Surprisingly, Nigeria’s business capital, Lagos misses out of the top 15 as regards Bitcoin level of interest on Google, giving credence to bias that areas with lower bank exposure, prone to high insecurity, and with a significant amount of Nigerian millennials, use the flagship crypto-asset to handle their payments and savings.
Furthermore, data retrieved from a multinational law firm Baker McKenzie reveal Africa’s largest economy reportedly has the world’s third-largest bitcoin holdings as a percentage of gross domestic product.
Nigeria’s highly young population (data retrieved from the CIA factbook show more than 90% of Nigerian citizens are within the age of 0-54), coupled with its fast-rising internet adoption and smartphone penetration, has become a force to be reckoned with in the crypto community.
In an interview with Nairametrics, experts revealed that the recent CBN directive which excludes Bitcoin from Nigeria’s financial ecosystem has led Bitcoin peer-to-peer transactions to surge in Nigeria, as it only requires two users connecting directly to each other to trade any crypto asset without the use of their local currency.
Data retrieved from Usefultulips (a Bitcoin analytic data provider) revealed that the use of Bitcoin for peer-to-peer lending in Nigeria surged by 11.6% since the CBN directive took effect about a week ago.
Nigeria led the pack with about $7.8 million in P2P trading on LocalBitcoins and Paxful, while closest rival, Kenya, had a transactional value of just $3.1 million during the past week. South Africa came in third with a transactional value of $2.6 million.
Unsurprisingly, such data shows that a growing number of young Nigerians have started utilizing Bitcoin for payment in order to avoid the often complex route of doing foreign transfers in many Nigerian banks, and other numerous challenges faced with the traditional money transfer services, such as high costs and slow speed, amongst others.
The borderless feature of the world’s most popular crypto asset makes payment effortless and transaction fees outrageously low.
To give context, most Nigerian banks charge 1 – 2.5%. For a $1 million offshore transfer, bank charges may go up to $10,000, but with Bitcoin, transfer of such amount would not exceed $250, even at peak periods.
It is worthy of note that some high ranking members of the Nigerian Senate also kick against the outright ban of crypto, knowing how much contribution it brings to their constituencies.
“We didn’t create Cryptocurrency and so we cannot kill it and cannot also refuse to ensure it works for us. These children are doing great business with it and they are getting a result and Nigeria cannot immune itself from this sort of business,” said Senator Biodun Olujimi.
“We didn’t create Cryptocurrency and so we cannot kill it and cannot also refuse to ensure it works for us. These children are doing great business with it and they are getting result and Nigeria cannot immune itself from this sort of business." – Senator Biodun Olujimi
— The Nigerian Senate (@NGRSenate) February 11, 2021
Crypto pundits also warn that the most recent crypto ban would lead to a growing number of informal businesses as prevalent in Nigeria’s currency black market, with billions of dollars changing hands without the government’s knowledge.
In addition, such restriction would likely make the situation worse, as it could lead to the relocation and shutdown of locally-based crypto exchanges and threaten thousands of well-paid jobs amid Nigeria’s high unemployment rate.
Bottom line: Bitcoin offers Africa’s leading oil producer an opportunity to cement its place as a knowledge-based economy, which would attract the investment needed to stimulate growth, as seen in the fintech space.
The apex bank’s crypto ban threatens Nigeria’s economic competitive advantage in the fast-rising crypto industry and further sends a wrong signal to foreign investors who provide the needed investments to Africa’s leading frontier.
$119 billion valued investment bank, Goldman Sachs starts Bitcoin trading
Goldman Sachs Group Inc has begun a crypto trading desk that would be handling bitcoin futures and non-deliverable forwards on behalf of its customers.
The world’s leading investment bank, Goldman Sachs Group Inc, has begun a crypto trading desk that will be handling bitcoin futures and non-deliverable forwards on behalf of its customers.
In a report credited to Reuters, it was revealed that the elite investment team will be positioned under the U.S. bank’s Global Markets division.
The desk is part of the investment bank’s fast-growing crypto-assets sector, which also includes projects involving central bank digital currencies and blockchain technology.
Goldman Sachs is also exploring the creation of a bitcoin exchange-traded fund and has issued a request for information to explore such a crypto service.
What you should know: The $119 billion valued investment bank is one of the world’s most elite investment bank, headquartered in New York and known to offer a broad range of financial services across investment trading, banking, securities, and lately consumer banking to a large and diversified client base.
This comes as no surprise, as highly respected business leader, Michael Saylor had earlier revealed that top representatives from about 7,000 companies attended MicroStrategy’s recent Bitcoin seminar, which the leading business intelligence company organized to aid companies interested in buying Bitcoin as a treasury asset.
“We had people from SpaceX there. We had people [from] some of Elon Musk’s companies. We had people from Marathon there.
“The ones you would expect were there, but of course, there’s an avalanche of private companies, and there were a decent number of public companies and treasurers and CFOs that were lurking.
“Some don’t want to have their names mentioned, as you can imagine, because it’s a sensitive topic,” Saylor said.
However, a significant number of traditional finance experts are not buying into the flagship crypto’s bullish run, as they see little value in the digital currency on the account that they believe Bitcoin, and other leading cryptos are just part of a larger speculative bubble.
At press time, Bitcoin traded at $49,026.27 with a daily trading volume of $54.6 Billion. Bitcoin is up 5.52% for the day.
No retreat no surrender, Ethereum explodes
Ethereum was trading at $1,532.05 on the FTX exchange with a 24 daily trading volume of $26.6 Billion.
Ethereum has been on a record buying spree amid its most recent price correction as institutional investors buy more at its dips.
At the time of drafting this report, Ethereum was trading at $1,532.05 on the FTX exchange with a 24 daily trading volume of $26.6 Billion. Ethereum is up 11.54% for the day.
Ether is the crypto asset that powers the Ethereum network. Crypto developers build apps on the Ethereum network, as it offers a unique type of decentralized software platform, which is different from the flagship crypto, which is designed to just be a currency or store of value.
Prakash Chand, Managing Director at FD7 Ventures also revealed also believes Ethereum would do far better than Bitcoin in the coming years;
“I’ve been lucky enough to spend lots of time with the brightest minds in crypto and I’m willing to bet that each of Ethereum, Cardano, and Polkadot will be more valuable than Bitcoin within the next few years,” he said.
That being said there has never been so much sustained activity of addresses interacting with Ethereum.
The 3-month average of aa’s has broken over its previous all-time high and it doesn’t look like it wants to go back!
There has never been so much sustained activity of addresses interacting with Ethereum.
The 3-month average of aa's has broken over its previous ATH and it doesn't look like it wants to go back! pic.twitter.com/Zmapg4Ah3l
— Elias Simos (@eliasimos) February 17, 2021
In addition, Ethereum (ETH) miners seem to have an edge now over their arch-rivals, as they have surpassed Bitcoin (BTC) miners on transaction fees charged for some months now.
Crypto market data aggregator, Messari revealed key metrics showing that it is the longest period for which Ethereum’s transaction fee revenue has surpassed BTC in the crypto asset’s history.
This prevailing macro is positive for Ether miners whose turnovers have been increased by higher fees and more transactions. In fact, Ethereum’s network hash rate has been growing consistently, having reached a near two-year high.
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