Understanding the intricate aspects of different ways to buy cryptocurrency is key to efficient use of capital and time. If you want to trade non-stop, squeezing profits from every price move, you will use one option. If you are always short on time, you will use another. This is equally true no matter what fiat currency is lining your pockets, the American dollar or the Nigerian Naira.
Here we offer some insights into the options available to Nigerian users.
Where to Buy Bitcoin in Nigeria
Centralized crypto exchanges and peer-to-peer (p2p) marketplaces are the two major avenues for buying Bitcoin in Nigeria and elsewhere. However, when the matter is about purchasing cryptocurrencies for Naira specifically, the national currency of this country, you may quickly run out of available options.
There are only a few exchanges outside Nigeria that support the Naira option, while local exchanges, such as NairaEx and Yellow Card, suffer from one common flaw. Technically, they are not exchanges, as the term is usually understood, but swap services.
With these services, you exchange one crypto for another or fiat currency, but unlike regular, orderbook-based exchanges, you can’t post orders to be filled at the price of your choice.
Orderbook-based crypto exchanges, on the other hand, feature a transparent price discovery mechanism and let you exercise full control over the price of your trades. However, the restrictive policies of the Nigerian central bank forced the majority of global exchanges to flee the Nigerian crypto market in the last couple of years.
And that takes us to p2p marketplaces.
On p2p marketplaces, there is no price discovery as such because you are free to take any offer at whatever price and in any order, as well as add your own offer if you are not happy with the existing ones (again, at any price).
These marketplaces connect users with each other letting them settle the payment between themselves. The buyer pays the seller directly, while the marketplace locks the crypto in escrow until the seller confirms the receipt of payment and releases the coins.
It is easy to see why p2p marketplaces have become so popular in Nigeria and other countries where cryptocurrencies are not welcome. They don’t work with fiat and thus don’t need to open bank accounts in whatever currency is used by their users.
Now that we have quickly checked the lay of the land in the Nigerian crypto market, let’s look deeper into concrete options available to crypto enthusiasts in this country.
Best Sites to Buy Bitcoin with Nigerian Naira
The list of cryptocurrency exchanges and marketplaces where you can actually purchase Bitcoin and a few other cryptos with Naira consists of the following entries:
It is possible to measure these sites with different yardsticks and along different dimensions. In this article, however, we chose to pay special attention to practical things such as verification requirements, supported cryptocurrencies, payment methods, fees and prices.
With that in mind, let’s see what we’ve got.
NairaEx is a swap service that helps you convert crypto into fiat (and vice versa) with the minimum amount of effort and choice. You can buy 4 cryptocurrencies with Naira here, which are Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash:
It is a Nigerian exchange that natively supports Naira, thereby allowing you to use all regular payment methods available to Nigerian residents such as bank transfers and card-to-card payments.
Besides Naira, NairaEx also supports Perfect Money, which should help you with cross-border money transfers (if crypto doesn’t cut it for you).
You won’t be able to buy or sell cryptocurrency without ID verification on NairaEx, and for that, you will need the so-called Bank Verification Number (in addition to other docs and a selfie). All Nigerians with a bank account have one, which effectively makes NairaEx useless for anyone living outside Nigeria (that is, without the BVN).
And since you have to pay hefty premiums in order to buy Bitcoin on this exchange (and sell it with a mighty discount as well), huge price spreads (on the order of 20%), along with ID verification restrictions, make it a niche product for Nigerians in Nigeria.
Yellow Card is another swap service available to Nigerian users as well as across a dozen other African countries such as Zambia, Kenya, and South Africa, to name a few. It supports Bitcoin, Ethereum and USDT, as well as a bunch of local currencies.
Payment methods supported by Yellow Card include bank transfers, debit/credit cards and mobile money. Nigerian users will definitely like the Naira option.
Like NairaEx, this service also requires verification. However, for Tier 1, which allows you to trade up to 50,000 NGN daily (around $120 at the moment), you will only need to confirm your phone number and email address, then provide personal details such as your name and date of birth – not a big deal.
Yellow Card is unique for its cash option. To deposit Naira into your Yellow Card account, you will need to visit one of the stores across the country and pay for the crypto you want to buy. You will receive a Yellow Card pin, which you then need to redeem on the platform.
But while the service claims that it doesn’t charge any trading fees, the spreads are large enough to make you think the fees are right there:
As of now, the spread is around 7%, so you are to lose about 3.5% to the current market price on either side.
Overall, Yellow Card seems to be a useful option to buy Bitcoin for Naira once you have completed the verification process, and even more so when you don’t need to buy or sell crypto too often and agree to pay a little extra here and there.
Luno is a London-based global exchange that allows you to trade crypto for Naira and employ a full arsenal of tools available on an advanced orderbook-based exchange. The exchange is active in Africa, South-East Asia and Australia, as well as in the UK and the US.
Like virtually all centralized exchanges in the world today, Luno requires that you verify your account. To complete the verification, you will need to confirm your phone number and provide some government-issued IDs (for example, a driver’s license or international passport), as well as proof of address (something like utility bill).
Luno supports the Naira option for all major cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and USDC (see the table below).
The exchange doesn’t charge trading fees to those who add liquidity to the orderbooks (makers), while for those who take it (takers), the fees start at 0.1% per amount traded and decrease as your trading volume adds up:
You can’t deposit Naira from your bank account directly here (due to reasons explained in the previous section). Instead, you buy a voucher through a third party and then redeem it on Luno. To withdraw Naira, the process is reversed – you create a voucher on Luno and redeem it with a third-party provider.
Bear in mind, though, that while Naira deposits and withdrawals on Luno via vouchers are free of charge, purchasing and redeeming them outside the exchange may not be.
Luno is probably the best choice if you are into short term-trading and want to profit from the slightest price fluctuations, with the usual caveats in place (like don’t store your money on the exchange).
Bitpapa is a leading p2p marketplace with a growing presence in Nigeria. The Naira option now supported by the service allows Nigerian users to buy such cryptos as Bitcoin, Ethereum, TON, Monero and USDT.
Out of the four options described in this guide, Bitpapa is the only platform where you are not required to verify your identity before you can make a trade. But it may still prove helpful as verified users can choose to trade only with their folk. Otherwise, there are no restrictions forcing you to verify your account.
The marketplace doesn’t set exchange rates other than for its own offers. Users are free to set any price they desire in their offers – just like they are free to select the offer that they find best regardless of its price:
As users pay each other directly, Bitpapa enables all payment methods currently available in Nigeria. You can pay and get paid with Naira using bank transfers, payment and gift cards, electronic money and local payment systems as well as cash settlements.
The platform doesn’t charge trading fees, but you may have to pay the processing fee for cryptocurrency withdrawals.
Here you can also take advantage of Bitpapa’s Telegram bot that offers a convenient way to quickly buy and sell cryptocurrency with a few commands right in the Telegram chat window.
As a p2p marketplace, Bitpapa delivers one of the most secure trading environments by protecting both the buyer and the seller. The seller can’t run off with the buyer’s money, while the buyer won’t get coins until he pays the seller.
The Choice Is Yours
As should be clear by now, buying Bitcoin and other top cryptos in Nigeria is not something entirely impossible or a lucky one-off event. You can buy these with the Nigerian Naira in a consistent and straightforward way. Moreover, there are different channels available which should satisfy both the inexperienced user and the seasoned trader.
Which one suits you better is up to you, of course.
Q: What is the Best Website to Buy Bitcoin with a Debit Card in Nigeria?
A: Depending on your specific needs and requirements, you can use either Yellow Card swap service or Bitpapa p2p marketplace (or both).
Q: Is It Safe to Buy Bitcoin with a Credit Card?
A: It is, as long as you use an established exchange or marketplace like the ones reviewed in this guide.
Q: What to Do After Buying Bitcoin?
A: If you don’t know what to do with your Bitcoin, you probably shouldn’t have bought it in the first place. Other than that, people buy Bitcoin as a long-term investment.
Q: Can I Buy BTC with Nigerian Naira?
A: Yep! And after reading this guide you know exactly where you can do that.