It’s relatively easy to buy Bitcoin with fiat in a crypto-friendly jurisdiction – whether you do it with a debit/credit card or via a bank transfer. But things are more nuanced in countries where crypto is not very welcome overall, for one reason or another. With its anti-crypto bank regulations, Nigeria leans more toward the second category, which is why the choice isn’t as simple and easy in this country.
So let’s check the options to buy Bitcoin in Nigeria with a debit card.
If you have a domestic debit/credit card and wish to buy some bitcoins, you will be looking for a trading platform that supports the Naira (NGN) option – a service which allows you to buy crypto in exchange for the Nigerian national currency using this payment method.
There are many factors that determine your choice, individual and common, specific and general, but the most important are:
platform security and trustworthiness
ID verification requirements
Checking them may prove useful when selecting a site to buy crypto. Because people are typically predisposed to stick with their first choice, at least for some time, making that choice is not something to be left to chance.
Then it makes sense to look into these factors a little bit deeper.
Blockchain creates a secure environment by itself, but you can only enjoy it after you have bought crypto and withdrawn it to your wallet. Before that, it is about how prudent your choice of a trading platform is and how secure and reliable this platform will be.
Today’s services are pretty consistent in offering you up-to-date account protection. However, while tools like 2FA are good at preventing unauthorized access to your account and, by extension, to your funds from outside, they are not an insurance against inside jobs and deliberate scams.
In this manner, global and well-established platforms have an advantage over local and largely unknown services, which can easily turn out to be scam operations.
Because p2p marketplaces do not accept fiat deposits, only your coins are exposed to risk there. And if you buy crypto on such a marketplace and do not plan on storing it in the marketplace wallet, your overall risk exposure remains limited.
Some platforms allow cryptocurrency purchases without identity verification, some require that you confirm your ID before you can make a single trade, and others take a more subtle approach by setting limits on how much you can trade without ID.
As a rule of thumb, platforms that accept fiat deposits (that is virtually all services other than p2p marketplaces) will ask you to submit a bunch of identity docs – starting with a driver’s license or passport, and all the way to utility bills and selfies. Not that p2p marketplaces universally let you trade anonymously, but there’s certainly more leeway with them in this department.
In the end, it is up to you how much you want to disclose about yourself, but oftentimes the effort (and still more so its long-lasting consequences) is not worth the deal.
Trading crypto may involve certain fees, and it becomes a concern if you are going to use an exchange service (aka instant swap) to buy crypto – you are likely to overpay when using such a service. The point is, you should be careful when you see claims of flat fees like $1 per trade or something to that tune.
These platforms usually hide the fees in the spread (the difference between the sell and buy price), and they can easily reach double digits. To find out how much you will overpay against the real market price, check the exchange rate on any global platform that allows you to buy Bitcoin for Naira (or where you can calculate it, as on Binance).
Traditional, orderbook-based exchanges and p2p marketplaces, on the other hand, are the best choice in terms of trading fees.
Most major exchanges charge something about 0.1% for traders who add liquidity to the orderbooks (so-called makers) and 0.2% for those who take liquidity from the orderbooks (takers). It is not uncommon for these exchanges to enable zero-fee trading on certain currency pairs once in a while.
Further, on the majority of p2p marketplaces you don’t need to pay trading fees when you trade using an existing offer, while you pay around 1% when creating your own offer.
Actually, payment methods are what you should start your analysis with. If you want to convert your Bitcoin for Naira and you can’t due to the lack of a corresponding payment method (in this case, debit/credit card), then the service you are currently looking into will be of no use to you regardless of other merits.
Please note that if you have a bank debit card (that is, a card issued by a bank), you also have a bank account to which your card is linked. This allows you to use your card to buy crypto even if the only payment method available is bank transfer.
Just find out what your bank account details are and use them instead.
Since February 2021, Nigerian banks have been prohibited by the central bank of Nigeria (CBN) from processing transactions of individuals and companies involved in crypto operations (think cryptocurrency exchanges and debit/credit card deposits here).
Local exchange services have found loopholes to dodge this ban. Case in point, to buy Bitcoin with Yellow Card, you first need to visit one of its physical locations, deposit Naira there and receive a number (pin), which you then redeem on the platform to get Bitcoin.
On traditional exchanges (such as Luno), you can’t deposit Naira directly either. There you first need to buy a voucher from a third party (which obviously doesn’t count as a cryptocurrency-related transaction to the CBN) and then redeem it on the exchange to receive Naira in your balance. Now you can buy Bitcoin.
Binance, on the other hand, doesn’t allow trading Naira for Bitcoin on its spot market at all. However, you can first buy USDT with Naira, and then buy Bitcoin with it.
Such pains largely explain both the popularity of p2p marketplaces among the Nigerian users and the rise in the number of the marketplaces that offer the option of buying cryptocurrency with Naira.
Here’s a list of established and well-known platforms that offer this option:
These are the services where Nigerians can trade cryptocurrencies for Naira with each other. Because you pay the seller directly on a p2p marketplace (in contrast to traditional exchanges), you don’t need to deposit fiat here, and therefore you can benefit from a wide array of payment methods available throughout Nigeria (debit cards included).
And to give you an idea about how to check the criteria described in the previous section, it seems appropriate to take one marketplace from the list and see how it fares.
That marketplace will be Bitpapa, a relatively new player in the Nigerian crypto space.
Although Bitpapa is not an old-timer of the Nigerian cryptocurrency market, it has been offering cryptocurrency conversion services since 2018 and earned the reputation of a reliable trading platform.
At the moment, the service allows you to trade Bitcoin, Ethereum, Toncoin, Monero and USDT for a bunch of local currencies including the Nigerian Naira:
When it comes to account security, Bitpapa recommends that you enable 2FA with Google Authenticator, and set an anti-phishing word in the account security settings. While not paranoid, these measures should suffice for the majority of traders – they are consistent with what you see on similar marketplaces.
There are two levels of verification on the platform: you can verify your phone number or choose complete ID verification. But unlike most of its competitors in the p2p market, Bitpapa neither enforces ID verification nor sets limits on how much you can trade without any verification:
In short, no need to verify your account is an absolute win across the board.
As far as trading fees are concerned, Bitpapa follows other p2p marketplaces. If you want to buy or sell Bitcoin (or any other crypto) using existing offers, you don’t pay any trading fees. Creating your own offer will cost you 1% of the traded amount.
Peer-to-peer trading assumes direct payment from the buyer of cryptocurrency to its seller, with the marketplace providing escrow services. Bitpapa is no different here – it supports all major payment methods available in Nigeria, from global such as bank transfers and card-to-card payments to local ones such as mobile money and cash settlements.
Overall, Bitpapa offers a fair, easy and secure environment for p2p trades that will be especially useful for those who don’t want to go through the throes of identity verification, or prefer to stay anonymous.
While p2p marketplaces are and will likely remain a major avenue for buying crypto in the foreseeable future, you can also buy Bitcoin with Naira via a number of payment systems available to Nigerians. These are MoonPay, Simplex and BitPesa, with the latter offering the most competitive fees of around 1%.
And in case you feel interested, there are two Bitcoin ATMs in Lagos where you can buy Bitcoin with your debit card (the commission will make you cry, though).
Q: Where Can I Buy Bitcoin Instantly With a Debit Card?
A: Swap services (for example, NairaEx) are designed to allow instant crypto purchases. In practice, though, p2p marketplaces turn out to be a better alternative as long as you trade with a trusted and reliable user
Q: What App Can I Use to Buy Bitcoin With a Debit Card?
A: Many p2p marketplaces (for example, Bitpapa) offer their users a mobile app which can be used to to buy and sell Bitcoin wherever you are at the moment
Q: Can I Buy BTC Using Other Payment Methods?
A: Yes, p2p marketplaces allow you to use almost any payment method available in your country
Q: What Are the Differences between a Bitcoin Exchange and Wallet?
A: Cryptocurrency exchanges allow you to sell and buy Bitcoin, while wallets are designed only to store cryptocurrency
Q: Can I Buy Bitcoin with Apple Pay?
A: Presently, Nigerian banks do not support Apple Pay, so you can’t use this service to buy Bitcoin with it
Q: Can I Use My Debit Card to Buy Bitcoin at a Bitcoin ATM?
A: Yes, there are two Bitcoin ATMs in Lagos that allow you to buy Bitcoin with a debit card