The African continent is gradually taking its place in the global crypto ecosystem. The advent of cryptocurrency has created a new opportunity for the people of Africa, with approximately 53 million people who own cryptocurrencies.
According to an analysis by BanklessTimes.com, more than one-third of all African cryptocurrency holders are in Nigeria, with over 22 million people.
On a worldwide scale, the US takes the lead with 46 million. At the same time, Nigeria comes at position four. Other notable countries include India and Pakistan, with 27.4M and 26.4M owners of crypto assets, respectively.
Speaking on the data, Jonathan Merry, CEO of BanklessTimes.com, said, “Nigeria has a long history of financial instability and high inflation. They tend to invest in assets that will hold their value against inflation. Thus, Nigerian people see cryptocurrency as a way to protect their wealth.”
What drives the adoption in Nigeria?
Nigeria is notorious for its financial instability, with cases of inflation rising to over 18%. This has made many people in the country look for options to hedge against their local currency.
Bitcoin has become one of the go-to options, being a decentralized asset without government control. Nigerians have also been actively trading Bitcoin and other digital assets on peer-to-peer (P2P) exchanges.
In addition, the use of cryptocurrency as a means of payment is also on the rise in Nigeria. The country has a large number of merchants who accept Bitcoin as a mode of payment. Some of the notable ones include airlines, hotels, and online stores. The adoption is also being driven by the increasing awareness of digital assets in the country.
Where do other African countries stand?
After Nigeria, South Africa is the second-largest cryptocurrency holder in Africa. The nation has approximately 7.7 million people with digital assets. This number represents around 12.6 percent of South Africa’s total population.
The high adoption rate could be because many people in South Africa are unbanked. Therefore, they see digital assets as a way to save and transact without going through banks. Also, the country has a high rate of remittances, which further drives the need for crypto.
Kenya rounds up the top three list of countries with the highest number of crypto holders in Africa. The nation has about 6.1 million people with digital assets, representing close to 11% of the total population.
The nation was one of the first in Africa to adopt the digital asset and has been a key player in promoting its use on the continent.
Egypt and Tanzania each have approximately 2.37 million and 2.33 million holders of crypto assets, respectively. Thus, the two countries consolidate the top five African nations with the most significant number of crypto asset holders.
On the contrary, Seychelles, which has a population of 99,689, has the fewest owners of any African country, with an estimated 1,257 holders only (1.2% of the population).
What is the general trend in Africa?
The growing trend of crypto ownership in Africa reflects the increased adoption of digital assets on the continent. Other countries than the ones mentioned above are also slowly beginning to adopt cryptocurrency.
For instance, Ghana has recently seen a surge in adoption, with the country now having over 1.4 million people with digital assets. This number is expected to grow as more Ghanaians learn about cryptocurrency and its potential benefits.