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Cryptocurrency

Why buying Bitcoin in Nigeria is not cheap

It appears to have become much difficult for Africa’s most important crypto market to get Bitcoin at a fair value.

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It’s no longer news that the recent CBN reminder restricting Nigerian financial institutions from Bitcoin and other Crypto assets have started to spur negative effect in the crypto industry when considering the cost of buying the world’s most popular cryptocurrency at Africa’s largest crypto market.

A recent study by Nairametrics revealed the flagship crypto asset, Bitcoin traded as high as 46% premium on some P2P exchanges and untraditional channels when compared to the use of Nigerian bank debit cards before the Crypto ban took effect, meaning the price of a bitcoin on such platforms was much expensive than its average price on other Crypto exchanges of around $49,000 at the time.

Crypto experts are of the bias that although the Central Bank’s recent directive does not criminalize ownership of Bitcoin, the circular will however make it difficult for them to process debit, credit card, and bank transfer transactions.

READ: Bitcoin joins the trillion-dollar club with Apple, Saudi Aramco and Google

This is already increasing the complexity of a significant number of Nigerians that often use their local currencies in buying crypto assets. Many Crypto exchanges interviewed by Nairametrics spoke on the challenges many of its Nigerian users face buying Bitcoin at a fair value on the account that Nigerian leading financial payment providers such as Paystack, Flutterwave have arbitrarily cut ties with Crypto exchanges.

Adding more woes to young Nigerians adamant about buying the flagship crypto asset is the prevailing dollar scarcity in Africa’s leading economy which had often led many to buy the dollar at the black market rate of as high as N500, knowing fully well that all Crypto assets value are denominated in U.S dollar.

Adding credence to this, Rume Ophi a.k.a. Cryptopreacher, and Nigerian Crypto Educationist said;

“Nigeria’s bitcoin price isn’t consistent because it is pegged to the dollar (Usdt), which is a bit different from the parallel market, the one we call the black market or abokifx.”

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READ: Nigeria’s cryptocurrency ban: A legal analysis

He added weight to the exchange rate disparity on some Crypto exchanges and other channels Nigerians have been left with

“At the time of writing, Paxful an online peer 2 peer platform pegged 1 USDT to 475. This means you need 475 naira to get 0.0000004sat (the smallest unit of bitcoin is called sat). Whereas a black market vendor is also known as OTC will sell for 480/$,” Ophi said.

The effect of the CBN crypto ban is already breeding bad actors that are currently taking advantage of the high thirst for Bitcoin as Luno a leading African-based Crypto exchange in an email sent to Nairametrics sheds more light on the cost bitcoin buyers in Nigeria must bear;

“Pushing people underground also makes it easier for scammers to exploit Nigerians, and we are already seeing Bitcoin trade at huge premiums in the country as a result of the ban.

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“Other companies have made the choice to find workarounds that are less visible for regulators – for example, Peer-2-Peer (P2P) trading. Our view is that P2P trading would go against the spirit of the CBN’s directive.

“We believe that the focus should instead be on demonstrating to the CBN that exchanges such as Luno have the necessary controls in place to address the concerns it has in relation to cryptocurrencies.”

READ: Most powerful financial leader takes side with CBN, says Bitcoin is untrustworthy

What you should know

  • Recall, the Central Bank of Nigeria had recently notified Deposit Money Banks, Non-Financial Institutions, other financial institutions against doing business in Crypto and other digital assets.
  • In a circular dated 5th February 2021 and distributed to regulated financial firms, the apex bank of Africa’s largest economy warned and reminded local financial institutions against having any transactions in crypto or facilitating payments for crypto exchanges.
  • Nigerian Apex bank further warned Nigerian financial stakeholders that any breach of this directive will attract serious regulatory sanctions.

READ: Why Crypto black market is thriving in Nigeria

Luno also spoke on the effect the CBN crypto ban will have on Nigerians in the long term, stating,

Any attempt to restrict access to cryptocurrency does not protect Nigerians. It holds them back and leaves them vulnerable. It prevents honest Nigerians from taking advantage of all that cryptocurrency has to offer them.”

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Bottom line: The rate of purchasing the most widely used Crypto asset in Nigeria is currently trading at a premium amid the Central Bank’s directive, suggesting it is getting much harder for Africa’s most important crypto market in getting Bitcoin at a fair value.

Olumide Adesina is a France-born Nigerian. He is a Certified Investment Trader, with more than 15 years of working expertise in Investment trading. Message Olumide on Twitter @tokunboadesina. He is a Member of the Chartered Financial Analyst Society.

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    Cryptocurrency

    Bitcoin ETF in North America has reached $1 billion in assets

    The first North American Bitcoin ETF has already reached $1 billion (C$1.25 billion) in assets less than two months after its launch.

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    According to a statement from its issuer, the first North American Bitcoin ETF has already reached $1 billion (C$1.25 billion) in assets less than two months after its launch. What exchange-traded funds did to the conventional investing market for decades could happen to cryptocurrency players in a fraction of the time.

    Investors are clamoring for crypto exposure, particularly in an exchange-traded fund wrapper, and the product from Toronto-based Purpose Investments, ticker BTCC, has seen a lot of interest. Although there are many crypto funds in Europe that work similarly to ETFs, this is the first ETF anywhere.

    More than $165 million worth of shares were traded on the fund’s first trading day in February, a big start for a fund in the much smaller Canadian ETF market.

    Its rapid cash accumulation reflects the high demand for Bitcoin products in the United States, as issuers compete for approval of the first Bitcoin ETF in the nation. Despite regulator resistance to accept the tactics, at least eight companies, including VanEck Associates Corp. and WisdomTree Investments, now have live applications with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

    On Tuesday, Bitcoin surged to an all-time high of about $63,246 ahead of Coinbase Global Inc.’s upcoming IPO later this week.

    There is an increasing expectation that a bitcoin ETF will be available in the United States in the not-too-distant future. Gary Gensler, the nominated chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, has taught cryptocurrency classes. The bitcoin market has exploded in popularity in recent months, attracting the attention of major financial institutions. Bitcoin ETFs are once again being sought by VanEck, Fidelity, and others.

    One advantage of ETFs is that shares can be readily created and redeemed to arbitrage away any discount or premium, which could greatly broaden their appeal. ETFs are also cheaper, which will put pressure on fees across the bitcoin ecosystem. Hence market sentiment may push the ETF higher.

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    Cryptocurrency

    Bitcoin is on fire, breaks above all-time high

    The flagship crypto traded at $62,645.26 with a daily trading volume of about $60 billion.

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    Bitcoin on high demand, hits 2-year high, trading $17,000

    Bitcoin prices ascended to a record high on Tuesday, hitting another milestone at above $62,000, a move that many reaffirm to be a bullish trend in the cryptoverse and one that can make other digital assets surge.

    At the time of writing this report, the flagship crypto traded at $62,645.26 with a daily trading volume of about $60 billion. Bitcoin is up 2.99% for the day. The world’s most popular crypto now has a market value of about $1.17 trillion.

    Adding credence to the strong bullish run in play is data retrieved from Glassnode pointing to the fact that holders of the flagship crypto are selling less, as Bitcoin deposits on exchanges hit a 30-day low.

    BTC Number of Exchange Deposits (7d MA) just reached a 1-month low of 2,837.702.

    READ: Why Bitcoin might likely hit $100,000 soon

    READ: Bitcoin produces 4 billionaires worth at least $3 billion each

    More details later…

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