Moses Awa is a business owner in Nigeria. As a textile importer, Awa said that his government banning access to foreign exchanges caused him to panic. He had worked very long and hard as an importer of Chinese shoes, but the government’s prevention of capital could have stopped his business in its tracks altogether.
Nigeria Has Become a Major Bitcoin Haven
It was a serious crisis, and I had to act fast.
To get things back up to speed, Awa turned to his brother, who had been delving in bitcoin for some time. As an experienced trader, he figured his brother might know a thing or two about gaining access to alternative currencies so that his import enterprise could remain safe and steady. He comments:
He was just accumulating, accumulating crypto, saying that at some point years down the line, it could be a great investment. When the forex ban happened, he showed me how much I needed it, too. I could pay my suppliers in bitcoins if they accepted – and they did.
Nigeria has brought about a whole bitcoin-loving environment that it probably had no desire to establish. Per B2B bitcoin firm Paxful, Nigeria is now second only to the United States when it comes to bitcoin trading, and it’s an activity that many of the country’s citizens appear to be taking part in.
Naturally, the government has gotten a little scared as a result. Not long ago, the country worked to ban all cryptocurrency transactions and later issued plans to issue its own national digital currency, hoping this would somehow curb the activity that was occurring within its borders.
Interestingly, it did nothing of the sort, and crypto transactions inherently increased upon the announcement, suggesting that Nigerians were not willing to give up their BTC without a fight. In fact, many crypto transactions say that Nigerian bitcoin activity has jumped tenfold in just the last year alone.
In addition, bitcoin and crypto remittance payments into Nigeria have also gotten a huge boost over the past 12 months, with such payments coming to a total of $17 billion in the year 2020. There are also many social and political organizations that accept funding in bitcoin given that the government has cut off their standard methods of earning revenue to keep themselves in commission.
Earning Money By Way of BTC
One such group is known as Gatefield. Founded by Adewunmi Emoruwa, the enterprise provides grants to journalists covering protests in Nigeria revolving around police brutality and the “End Sars” movement. In a recent interview, Emoruwa said:
I think the End Sars is likely the key catalyst for some of these decisions the government is making. It caused fear. They saw, for example, that people could decide to bypass government structures and institutions to mobilize. It sent shockwaves, and those shockwaves have continued.