When people start asking themselves the question of what the blockchain and cryptocurrencies are all about, the natural thought that comes to mind is trying it all out by themselves. Curiosity is a powerful motivating factor that drives both progress and innovation in the technological domain, but it is also a rather dangerous aspect of human nature that can lead to financial losses. The crypto market is well known for its volatility and the rampancy of scams of all kinds and breeds, which makes it a dangerous place for the unwary and the uninitiated.
Diving headlong into crypto space without proper due research and knowledge of how much can be earned or lost in it is a very unsound approach to engaging in monetary ventures. The same applies to the methods that new market entrants often resort to in their strive to inject some money into their new digital portfolios. In fact, despite the many claims that it is easy to pour liquidity into crypto, many users face a very high entry threshold when they actually manage to make it to an exchange upon passage of the many Know Your Customer and Anti-Money Laundering procedures and registration steps.
If users from Africa are to be taken as an example of crypto adoption, then one might look at Nigeria to realize the many hurdles and opportunities they face. Nigeria is rightly considered the main driver of crypto adoption on the continent in large part thanks to the fact that the local currency – the naira – has seen sharp depreciation over the last few years. The local central bank is powerless to stop the collapse of the currency’s exchange rate, which has been mercilessly beaten by a series of economic shocks, such as the Covid-19 pandemic and poor employment rates.
Nigerians are confident that the local currency is hopeless and worthless, so they are not eager to exchange their Bitcoins to naira. In fact, the Nigerian naira has even made attempts at becoming a stablecoin and a Central Bank Digital Currency in an effort at attracting the attention of the local population. The local central bank’s efforts were largely in vain, since Nigerians prefer even lesser known coins like Tron.
As for the aspects of buying cryptocurrencies in Nigeria, users have a rather wide arsenal of tools at their disposal. The first line of crypto adoption are the many local exchanges, which operate on terms that often outstrip those of foreign, major exchanges. Prices for Bitcoin and other top cryptocurrencies can fetch considerably higher sums on Nigerian exchanges in peak hours of trading, making their lucrative feeding grounds for scalpers and arbitrage traders of every kind.
Nigerians can make use of PayPal as a very convenient gateway for paying for their Bitcoins through virtually any of the local exchanges. Such convenience makes cryptocurrencies widely accepted in the country as an alternative means of payment, one that outstrips the local naira in popularity. Apart from PayPal, locals can also buy their cryptocurrencies using bank cards connected to such popular and widely available gateways as VISA and MasterCard.
Buying cryptocurrencies is not a problem for users in Africa, who are used to all kinds of economic and political shocks. The pandemic has had a detrimental impact on the economies of many African countries, with the lockdowns having eroded employment and incomes for millions of people. In such conditions, people are on the lookout for alternatives capable of preserving their savings, and cryptocurrencies are answering the call. Luckily, it is quite easy to buy Bitcoin using PayPal, since the many exchanges operating in Africa are well-connected to the global financial system, thus making accessibility a breeze.