After a great increase in prices and interest from big global investors, Bitcoin has soared in the African market. Forbes reported that the Bitcoin price in this region, up by 60% this year alone, has increased dramatically in the past month.
Nigerian Bitcoin Market
Yellow Card Financial, a Nigerian-based digital asset buying service, has announced a $1.5 million seed funding round. Nigeria is the biggest source of Bitcoin on the African continent. The country has also outperformed any other country in terms of level of interest, reported Cointelegraph, an e-currency website. A report published by Blockchain.com on 5 August 2020 confirmed that Nigeria has searched Bitcoin-related topics the most on Google. Three African countries were top in the world for Bitcoin-related searches: Nigeria, South Africa, and Ghana. Cote d’Ivoire also showed significant interest.
With the increase in African interest on the topic, Yellow Card has stressed that their industry is growing rapidly, specifically in Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, and Kenya, according to Cointelegraph. In April 2020, Nigeria opened the world’s eighth Bitcoin ATM.
Setbacks for the African Market
Despite the surge of African interest in digital currency, most countries have yet to legalise or legitimise cryptocurrency. Nigeria, for instance, received a stern circular from its Central Bank in 2017. It warned that the fluidity of e-currency could lead to great misuse of funds.
Most African countries have not passed legislation on the topic, leading crypto experts to proceed with transactions without the state’s go-ahead. For instance, there are no laws in Nigeria, Kenya, or Ghana criminalising e-currency dealings. However, South Africa recently announced plans to legitimise and regulate cryptocurrency, thereby being able to tax it like any other product.
The regulation and taxation of cryptocurrency could lead to immense possibilities for the developing and often struggling economies of Africa. It is yet to be seen if any of South Africa’s neighbours will follow her lead in this regard.