Earlier this year, the Central Bank of Nigeria banned cryptocurrency operations in the country and ordered that all accounts operating on cryptocurrency be closed by commercial banks.
Despite this ban, Nigerians found a loophole in peer-to-peer transactions. Before the ban, Nigeria Traded Over $500m In Cryptocurrency and was one of the leading countries globally in terms of trading volumes.
Nigeria traded more than $500 million worth of Bitcoin between 2015 and 2020 across various cryptocurrency trading platforms and was the second-largest peer-to-peer Bitcoin market after the United States.
According to crypto exchange platform Paxful, Nigerians have traded Bitcoin volumes of over N92.25m ($225K) on Paxful from March to June 2021. The platform also mentioned that trading volumes from Nigeria from November 2020 to February 2021 were worth N73.8m.
“From March through June 2021, Paxful had a bitcoin trading volume of over $225K in Nigeria. It’s best to compare Nov 2020 to Feb 2021; they are both four months. From this date range, we have Bitcoin trading of nearly $180K”, Paxful mentioned in an email statement.
Paxful, a few months ago mentioned that Nigeria was its largest crypto market with volumes of $1.5 billion and a user base of 1.5 million. The exchange believes that the figures can still grow irrespective of the Federal Government ban.
Although cryptocurrency is banned in Nigeria, the Central Bank has announced plans to launch an indigenous digital currency before the year comes to an end. According to the CBN Governor, the reason for the ban of cryptocurrency in Nigeria was because it was fuelling money laundering and terrorism in the country. He also showed huge concerns about the volatility of cryptocurrency and how the influences of people such as Elon Musk could make or mar the market. “We are committed in the CBN and I can assure everybody that digital currency will come to life even in Nigeria.”, he said.
The figures by Paxful show that irrespective of the ban, Nigerians still continue to go about cryptocurrency-related operations both on Paxful and across other various platforms.