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One in three Nigerians made use of crypto last year

International remittance continues to popularise cryptocurrency in Africa and South-East Asia

German database and statistics firm, Statista, has stated that with one in every three survey respondents indicating that they used or owned cryptocurrency in Nigeria in 2020, the country is leading the charts for per-capita Bitcoin and cryptocurrency adoption. The report’s findings is yet another indication of the potential of cryptocurrency in an underdeveloped continent like Africa, where the exorbitant cost of sending money across borders has caused many to turn to local cryptocurrency exchanges.

The data was based on Statista’s Global Consumer Survey, which queried respondents based in 74 countries.

The report revealed that the pre-existing prevalence of mobile-based peer-to-peer payment systems in Nigeria has encouraged the country to explore cryptocurrency at an increasing pace. Statista further added that many respondents from Nigeria reported that they had recently installed crypto payment applications on their phones with international remittances being the most popular reason.

Despite the Central Bank of Nigeria enacting a ban on banks providing financial services to crypto exchanges in the past fortnight, crypto assets are witnessing a boom and Bitcoin adoption in one of Africa’s most densely populated countries shows no signs of slowing.

The survey’s results come amid reports from Nigeria which indicate that BTC was trading at a 36% premium yesterday. Nigeria also dominates the search traffic for the keyword ‘Bitcoin’ according to Google Trends.

Statista’s data also revealed that crypto adoption has received a boost in South-East Asia despite the region’s most populated country India being all set to implement a blanket ban on cryptocurrencies.  21% of Vietnamese and 20% of Filipino participants respond that they had used crypto last year with Statista attributing the interest in cryptocurrency yet again to remittances.

Ranking second, Vietnam’s crypto adoption continues to improve despite its central bank refusing to recognize crypto assets as a legitimate form of payment in 2017.

In May 2020 the country’s government agreed to reconsider its position by establishing a research group that is currently developing and scrutinising policy proposals concerning digital currencies. The recent move is being seen as an indication that the nation may soften its stance at some point in the future.

Turkey and Peru ranked third and fourth for adoption with data suggesting that at least 16% of respondents from each country directly engaging with crypto last year. Switzerland is next in line with 11%. Japan, despite its crypto-friendly regulations, ranked last, a title it shares with Denmark, at just 4%.

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