Nigerian cryptocurrency adoption continues to rise despite the government’s crackdown, with peer-to-peer (P2P) trade volume for Bitcoin posting its second strongest week on record last month. According to data from Google Trends, Nigeria still ranks number by search interest for the keyword “Bitcoin” as of this writing. According to Useful Tulips, P2P Bitcoin trading denominated in the Nigerian Naira has also steadily increased this year, with Nigeria ranking behind only the U.S as the second-largest market for peer-to-peer BTC trading.
Sub-Saharan Africa emerges as the leading region by P2P volume.
The growing Bitcoin adoption in Nigeria has helped Sub-Saharan Africa emerge as the leading region by P2P volume. The region posted $18.8 million in weekly peer-to-peer volume to beat out North America’s $18 million this past week. A confluence of political and economic crises has spurred local crypto adoption, including social repression, currency controls, and rampant inflation. Since October, tensions in Nigeria have escalated after massive public protests opposing police brutality and the infamous “Sars” police unit swept the nation.
Social activists turn to crypto amid political turmoil.
In Nigeria, the government crackdown saw economic repression with social organizations supporting the protestors with food and medical aid quickly finding their bank accounts frozen. Amid the violence, protestors increasingly turned to cryptocurrency in order to place their economic activity outside of the government’s reach. An anonymous source claiming to represent a social organization whose bank accounts were targeted during the turmoil told The Guardian that their group has been able to pay members’ salaries with crypto despite the financial embargo. Nigeria’s steadily rising P2P Bitcoin volumes suggest the country’s growing crypto user base has largely been driven underground in a bid to access crypto assets from outside of the government’s purview.