Wednesday, August 14, 2019 09:00AM / Sofia Robinson* / Header Image Credit: The Brokebackpacker.
Africans and Nigerians in particular, are quickly establishing themselves as global players in the cryptocurrency scene. Google Trends data suggests that where Bitcoin is concerned, which is by far and away the leading crypto on the market, the most searches for it on the planet come from Nigeria. With 20 million+ living in Lagos alone, the younger generation is quickly embracing the crypto era. This is quite evident when looking at operators such as , which has seen a huge surge in demand throughout the region.
In Nigeria, it’s now becoming common for younger people to look beyond traditional employment. As many have access to the internet, there is an understandable desire to find work in the online world. Freelancing is becoming very popular in Nigeria, however, there’s a stumbling block, but it’s one which cryptocurrencies appear to help solve.
When looking to provide services and products outside of Nigeria, or indeed Africa, it can prove difficult due to the notoriety of internet fraudsters said to operate in the area. This has seen many take action to block money transfers to Nigerians from abroad. However, there are companies who will facilitate transactions on behalf of Nigerians, but their fees are steep.
This is where cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin come in and tend to make a positive difference, as they allow Nigerians to receive and send payments globally. This is huge for young entrepreneurs in Nigeria who are active within the freelancing community, or simply for those who wish to send and receive payments to anywhere in the world, whenever they like.
As well as freelancers, Nigerian graduates are now stepping into the business world, and again, rather than use currencies such as the American dollar, they put cryptocurrencies to work instead. This is for similar reasons to that of freelancers, as it allows business owners to trade or source products internationally. Otherwise, by using local or foreign currencies, it could prove a difficult task to realise a business’s full potential. In addition, it does offset against the real threat of all the disadvantages associated with massive inflation.
With about an active within Nigeria alone, this has also prompted the younger generation, those born in the tech era, to use the internet and their internet-ready devices to their advantage. More and more people from Nigeria are now getting in on the crypto trading trend for example, as this can provide a way to make some much-needed income. With access to crypto markets in the palm of their hand, you can see the appeal for Nigerians in the prime of their life.
Cryptocurrencies have very much given young people in Nigeria, and the population in general, hope of better times to come where financial activities are concerned. Now, there’s the ability to send and receive funds globally, for whatever reason, while there’s also hope that cryptos such as Bitcoin will provide a viable alternative to traditional banking services within the country. The popularity of cryptos will continue to increase as more of the younger generation tend to adopt it as their preferred banking and payment solution. Therefore, it may not be long before we see it being as common as the traditional methods.
*Sofia Robinson is an expert in fintech and blockchain industries. She can be reached via email@example.com