Nigerians Trade N69.29bn Bitcoin In Five Months Despite Ban

TECH DIGEST – Nigerians traded N69.29bn ($169m) in bitcoin volume in the first five months of 2021, according to data analysed from www.usefultulips.org.

The data showed that trading volume was highest in May at $38.5m, compared to $33.1m in April; $33.6m in March; $31.9m in February and $31.9m in January.

Last month, bitcoin, the world’s most popular cryptocurrency, lost about 36 per cent of its value within the month – the worst monthly performance since September 2011.

In a circular released in early February 2021, the Central Bank of Nigeria issued a ban on cryptocurrency trading, directing banks to identify accounts of traders and block them. This elicited various reactions from Nigerians.

On the global market, the digital currency suffered a significant liquidity crisis, following a months-long consolidation about $50,000. On May 19, bitcoin had its worst sell-offs with an intra-day price range of about $11,500.

Nigeria continues to lead the way in volume of bitcoin traded in Africa, followed by Kenya, Ghana, and South Africa.

According to the data, bitcoin volume trade began to peak in March, with continuous growth witnessed in April. But trading began to fall in the third week of May, with the last week of May witnessing low trading volumes as was witnessed in January.

The global fall of bitcoin in May began after Tesla’s Chief Executive Officer, Elon Musk, announced that the company was no longer accepting bitcoin as a means of payment because of its high carbon footprints.

This caused wealthy investors to begin to pull their funds from the digital asset into safe-haven assets like gold, with bitcoin falling below $40,000.

The crypto market has since lost more than $600bn in market value, with millions of investors liquidated. Also, the digital asset has since seen its dominance level hit a record low of around 42.5 per cent.

Last week, an association for bitcoin miners was created – a first step towards reducing the carbon footprint of the digital asset. It is expected that investor confidence in bitcoin will soon be restored.

According to coinmarketcap.com, on Monday, bitcoin was $36,531.54, up 3.55 per cent, with a 24-hour trading volume of $35,921,047,317.

It had a live market cap of $683,975,072,910, a circulating supply of 18,722,862 BTC coins and a maximum supply of 21,000,000 BTC coins.

Ethereum was $2,529.12, up 7.50 per cent, with a 24-hour trading volume of $27,349,760,397.

It had a live market cap of $293,630,817,033, a circulating supply of 116,099,906 ETH coins, and its maximum supply was not available.

Dogecoin was $0.307078, up 3.92 per cent, with a 24-hour trading volume of $2,002,053,694. It had a live market cap of $39,866,951,236, a circulating supply of 129,826,876,508 DOGE coins, and its maximum supply was not available.

Koinwa, a Nigerian crypto platform, said the number of users has crossed 1,000 since it launched last month.

The company’s CEO, Disu Hakeem, disclosed this in a telephone interview with our correspondent during an interview, saying, “We are expected to grow 15 per cent to 20 per cent month to month.”

He said the company was in the process of deliberate customer acquisition, adding, “By acquisition, I mean we are in the process of getting more people on board to sign up. We have our audience already, just acquiring more. By next month, we will be in the process of retaining.”

Since the CBN’s ban on cryptocurrency transactions by banks, platforms have since shifted to peer-to-peer forms of payments.

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