The price of Bitcoin (BTC) in Nigeria has reached a whopping $38,000 as against the global value of around $23,217 at the time of this writing.
According to the Nigerian cryptocurrency exchange NairaEX, one BTC is currently valued at 17.8 million naira which is equivalent to $38,792. It is believed that this is a consequence of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) effort towards encouraging digitized currency amongst its citizens.
At this price, the Bitcoin premium is now at 60% in Nigeria due to an increased demand for the asset class although this is not the country’s first time experiencing such a surge.
Two years ago, there was a call to ban regulated banks that were providing crypto services in the country. At another time, the CBN ordered all commercial banks to shut down accounts with a minimum of two individuals trading cryptocurrency. All of these contributed to a 36% surge in BTC premiums at the time.
CBN Impose Cash Withdrawal Restrictions
Notably, the CBN recently imposed a daily cash withdrawal limit of 20,000 naira ($43.43) from ATMs on citizens of the West African country. Also, every week they are only entitled to a maximum withdrawal of 100,000 naira ($217.16). In addition to these restrictions, the higher denomination Nigerian naira notes were redesigned to limit money laundering and inflation.
Nigerians were given an initial deadline of January 30th to exchange their old notes for the newly designed banknotes. This deadline has now been pushed to February 17.
However, the long queue at banks and ATMs as well as complaints from citizens about the time limit has made the government have a change of heart. An additional 10 days extension has been approved, hence, Nigerians have until February 10th to exchange their old banknotes.
Nigeria has been a major contributor to the cryptocurrency movement in Africa and at a time, it was recognized as the second largest market for peer-to-peer BTC trading. Google search trends showed that the term ‘Bitcoin’ moved from Western countries to Asia and Eastern Europe throughout the years and landed in Africa “Bitcoin Africa” in 2019. Then in terms of country, Nigeria topped the chart followed at a huge distance by South Africa.