Three months after Nigeria’s central bank restricted financial institutions from dealing with anything crypto-related, peer-to-peer (P2P) Bitcoin trading in the country is having a heyday.
According to analytics platform UsefulTulips, Bitcoin P2P trading in Nigeria has surged by 27% since restrictions were introduced by the country's central bank (CBN).90-day trading volumes in sub-Saharan Africa compared. Image: UsefulTulips.
"The CBN requested that banks and other financial institutions close the accounts of cryptocurrency exchanges in the country,” a spokesperson for Paxful, a leading P2P exchange in Nigeria, told Decrypt. However, as individuals are not banned from using cryptocurrencies, “peer-to-peer platforms like Paxful are not affected by the action," she added, noting that "as a result, all peer-to-peer services are seeing growth."
Nigeria is Paxful’s biggest market and the largest P2P market in sub-Saharan Africa. While P2P trading in Ghana and Kenya is also on the rise, almost $103 million was traded in Nigeria in the past 90 day period on P2P exchanges Paxful and LocalBitcoins—up from $80.6 million three months before.
The enthusiasm with which the country’s youth have taken to crypto means that Nigeria is often called Africa’s Bitcoin Nation; its trading volumes made records prior to the controversial ban.
The price of Bitcoin has rallied by almost 500% since the start of its latest bull run at the end of 2020, hitting record highs of almost $65,000 this month before a pullback to $54,000.
And while Africa’s overall trading crypto volumes are tiny, a mere two percent of global volumes, the emergence of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies crea...