Africa is not exempt from this development, and as more of its citizens continue to engage with cryptocurrencies, Sub-Saharan Africa has quickly become the fastest-growing cryptocurrency market among developing economies and the third-fastest growing market in the world
Cryptocurrencies have become highly favored in recent times, with some countries starting to recognize them as acceptable means of payment. The decentralized nature of crypto currencies, its financial inclusion, and potential gains are a few of the reasons why they are so attractive in today’s market.
Africa is not exempt from this development, and as more of its citizens continue to engage with cryptocurrencies, Sub-Saharan Africa has quickly become the fastest-growing cryptocurrency market among developing economies and the third-fastest growing market in the world. A policy brief released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), has shown that a significant proportions of Kenya’s (8.5%), South Africa’s (7.1%) and Nigeria’s (6.3%) populations are using these digital currencies.
Nigeria’s crypto sector continues to boom and is seeing more young people investing in cryptocurrencies. According to a report released by Kucoin, more than a third of Nigerians aged between 18 to 60 invest in cryptocurrencies, with 52% of investors below the age of 30. Hence, it has been recorded as the most crypto obsessed country in the world, with a total search score of 371 beating countries like Canada and the UK according to findings by CoinGecko.
The research examined global Google Trends data used by people interested in cryptocurrency, namely 'Cryptocurrency', 'Invest in Crypto', 'Buy Crypto', 'Bitcoin', 'Ethereum' and 'Solana'. These were then aggregated to give each country a ‘total search score’.
The creation of the e-Naira, Nigeria's official digital currency, will do a lot to make the medium more mainstream. Since its launch in October 2021, the e-Naira has been used to carry out transactions worth 4 billion naira ($9.3 million), and is expected to boost Nigeria GDP by $29 million over the next decade. Additionally, talks of launching a virtual free trade zone by the Nigerian Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) with crypto exchange Binance will also foster growth in the country.
It remains to be seen how the continued fall and stagnation of most cryptocurrencies will affect Nigerian and Sub-Saharan African citizens’ appetite for investing. Cryptocurrencies as yet still remain largely speculative trade asset, susceptible to volatility in a manner similar to the stock market. Maybe a time will come when the loss of value and present inability to act as a medium of transaction eventually causes the region’s young investors to look elsewhere. That time has not yet come.