As the Central Bank of Nigeria continues to impose limits on ATM cash withdrawals, the price of Bitcoin in the country has skyrocketed to well above global market levels. At present, the price of 1 BTC on the Nigerian crypto exchange NairaEX is 17.8 million naira. This is equivalent to $38,792, which is a 60% premium over the current market price of Bitcoin around $23,700. Today, Nigeria has become the leading country for “Bitcoin” web searches, according to Google Trends.
Earlier this month, the central bank limited cash withdrawals to a maximum of approx. $43.50 per day. Additionally, Nigerians are now only allowed to withdraw 100,000 nairas (approximately $217) per week. The move also came ahead of the introduction of new naira banknotes. For your information, these banknotes are an attempt to tackle inflation and money laundering in the country. Because of long queues and complaints about the insufficient time to exchange old banknotes for the new currency, the central bank extended the deadline to Feb. 10.
The Bitcoin premium has surged in Nigeria some years ago as well. In February 2021, the BTC premium surged as high as 36% as the central bank stopped financial institutions from cooperating with crypto exchanges.
Recently, the Central Bank of Nigeria also launched the domestic “AfriGo” card scheme to give citizens better access to bank card services. Through this card scheme, Nigerians are supposed to profit through avoiding exchange costs and foreign card fees. Until now, Mastercard and Visa were the most used cards in the country.
“Bitcoin is Hope” Campaign
Despite previous efforts to curb the use of cryptocurrencies, the increased demand for digitalized cash and the recent launch of the “AfriGo” card scheme suggests that the trend towards digital currencies is here to stay.
In Nigeria, the recent limits on ATM cash withdrawals imposed by the Central Bank of Nigeria have made Bitcoin a source of hope for many people. With traditional financial institutions limiting access to cash, citizens are turning to Bitcoin as a means of taking control of their assets and transacting freely. Today, Nigeria also leads the world in Google searches for “Buy #Bitcoin.”