Bitcoin is the top dog in the cryptocurrency arena traded on virtually every crypto exchange out there in either the US dollar directly or its proxy – stablecoin USDT. So it is easy to find out Bitcoin’s value priced in USD – the market is deep and global today. But what are the ways of determining its value against the Nigerian national currency? Where can we find the price of Bitcoin in Naira and will it reflect the real market price there?
This is what we set out to discover and explore in this article.
The sad reality is that there are not too many exchanges and marketplaces that offer the option of trading Bitcoin for Naira (NGN). The reason? In February 2021, the Nigerian monetary authorities tried to crack down on such trading by ordering local banks to close accounts of individuals and entities transacting in cryptocurrencies.
This effort expectedly failed in the end, but the damage was done, nevertheless. So how can we figure out what the “real” price of 1 Bitcoin in Naira is under these circumstances?
We can use two approaches toward achieving this goal. We can use the analytical method by taking exchange rates for Bitcoin and Naira against the dollar in isolation and then calculating their cross rate.
Alternatively, we can employ the empirical method, which consists in checking out the conversion rates offered by the platforms that do actually allow us to make such a conversion.
Then we can compare the results and see which approach fits our bottom line best.
By and large, the price of digital assets is determined by market forces through the balance of supply and demand. In other words, there is no authoritative source or entity that comes out and says that the price of Bitcoin is such and such for today, whether in USD, Naira or some other fiat currency.
It should be noted, however, that major exchanges, such as Binance, FTX, Kraken and their likes, are where the market price is discovered. In a sense, they are that source.
Smaller exchanges are following these big market makers, and whenever there is a price discrepancy not determined by some systemic factors like, for example, a lack of fiat offramp, it is quickly taken advantage of by arbitrageurs and their army of trading bots.
As a result, the Bitcoin price in USD on any top crypto trading platform is pretty consistent and representative of the entire crypto market. Then all we need to do to calculate a reference price of Bitcoin in Naira is to get the price of this fiat currency in USD.
It is relatively simple to check how much you must pay for one dollar in the Nigerian Naira. Although there’s black market for foreign currency exchange in Nigeria and the rate you get on the streets of Lagos will be different from the price set by the local central bank, the official exchange rate will do as an initial estimate.
Even if Naira is artificially overpriced against the dollar, the error will be systematic and can be easily drawn out and accounted for. The official exchange rates of major fiat currencies as set by the central bank of Nigeria for September 22 are:
To obtain the current Bitcoin price, we can use the coinmarket.com price feed, which provides a pretty good estimate of cryptocurrency prices across the board in real time.
As of this writing, Bitcoin price is at $18,994.95 per coin:
Given the Naira exchange rate (430.59 per dollar) and Bitcoin price ($18,994.95 per bitcoin), we can calculate the price of one Bitcoin in NGN:
430.59 x 18,994.95 = 8,179,035.52 NGN
So, right now, it can be reasonably assumed that Bitcoin’s “official” price is ~8,179,035 NGN. If you come to disagree with this number, you can calculate it yourself. Or you can use the empirical method and simply check the prices across different trading platforms.
As this is what we are going to do next.
You can buy and sell Bitcoin for Naira using the following platforms:
Swap services allow a fast conversion of cryptos either to other coins or to fiat currencies. They offer a simplified user interface with a minimum of options. Here, you typically can only set the amount of crypto to sell and the withdrawal method (for example, bank transfer).
You have no control over the price offered – you can’t set your own price, as simple as it gets.
With orderbook-based exchanges and p2p marketplaces, on the other hand, you have more control over the price at which you want to trade your coins. That makes them a preferred choice if you have time and inclination to learn how to use these platforms.
On an orderbook-based exchange, you can submit a Limit order, which is placed in an orderbook at the price of your choosing. It gets executed when the market price matches your price exactly. So if you want to sell Bitcoin, you create a sell order.
On a p2p marketplace, you can either create your own offer (called an ad in the p2p lingo) or use an existing ad created by someone else. The major difference with an orderbook-based exchange is that you are not bound by the price order of ads, and can select any in case you want to use an existing ad.
With that clarified, the list of trading platforms that offer the Naira option includes the following entries:
This list is far from comprehensive, but we can still narrow it down further to just 3 entries representing a swap service, an orderbook-based exchange and a p2p marketplace. This abridged version will be enough to give you an understanding of how much you could realistically get by selling your Bitcoin for Naira on these platforms.
And which ones are actually worth using in real life.
Founded in 2012, Coinbase is one of the oldest cryptocurrency operations in the world. It provides exchange services worldwide, and for Nigerian users, it offers cryptocurrency conversions to Naira with its swap service:
Presently, for 1 BTC you will receive 8,333,050 Naira, which is 1.8% higher than the “official” exchange rate calculated in the previous section (8,179,035.52 NGN).
You can withdraw only by debit/credit card when you are converting BTC to Naira on Coinbase.
Binance is the largest cryptocurrency exchange around the world by trading volume. Although you can’t convert your Bitcoin to Naira on Binance spot market directly, you can first sell BTC for USDT, and then trade USDT for Naira.
In this way, you can easily calculate how much 1 Bitcoin is worth in Naira, and so will we.
At the moment, you can trade 1 Bitcoin for 19,001.92 USDT on Binance spot, which is pretty consistent with the coinmarket.com data, given Bitcoin’s volatility and the value of USDT not exactly equal to USD:
Things get more interesting when it comes to selling USDT for Naira. As the chart below clearly demonstrates, the real Naira-to-USD exchange rate (718.1) is nowhere near the central bank rate (430.59), and it definitely doesn’t get any better with time:
Given these rates, we can determine the BTC-to-Naira cross rate, which will be equal to:
718.1 x 19,001.92 = 13,644,618.1 NGN
Long story short, you will be able to get about 13,644,618 NGN for 1 BTC on Binance – with a premium of 66.8% to the “official” price. You can withdraw Naira from this exchange using such payment methods as bank transfers and debit/credit cards.
Bitpapa is a peer-to-peer marketplace that has been offering trading services across the world since 2018 and which has recently entered the Nigerian crypto space. In addition to Bitcoin, you can also sell Ethereum, USDT, Toncoin and Monero here.
We can estimate how much you can get here for your Bitcoin by taking a close look at the offers to sell this cryptocurrency:
As you can see, these offers start at 14,230,424 NGN, which gives a premium of nearly 74% to the price calculated on the basis of the current Bitcoin price (according to coinmarket.com) and the official USD-to-NGN exchange rate (as published by the central bank of Nigeria).
When you sell crypto on a p2p marketplace, you are paid directly by the buyer. Bitpapa is no different in this regard – it supports all major payment channels available in Nigeria, which include regular bank transfers and card-to-card payments as well as multiple cash options and mobile money.
The traders on this marketplace are smart and definitely know the strengths and weaknesses of Naira.
The major lesson to take home from this short exposition is that you will do much better if you stay away from services that do not allow you to set your own price, whether it be a global operation like Coinbase or some local exchange service such as NairaEx. In fact, you won't get the real market price on the former or even the calculated one with the latter.
Conversely, on exchanges and marketplaces where the price is determined by free market forces, you will be able to get for your Bitcoin what it’s really worth in NGN. Moreover, as a nice bonus, you will also be able to tell how much the Nigerian Naira itself is worth in real money, despite what the official exchange rate may say.
In a nutshell, stick by these trading platforms, and you will always know where you stand in terms of real exchange rates.
Q: Which App Can Nigerians Use to Buy Bitcoin?
A: Many exchanges and p2p marketplaces offer mobile apps for buying Bitcoin on the go. You can use Bitpapa mobile app which allows you to trade crypto regardless of your whereabouts and the time of the day.
Q: How Can I Buy Bitcoin in Nigeria?
A: You can buy BTC in Nigeria using a swap service, an exchange or a p2p marketplace that supports this option.
Q: Which Bank Can I Use to Buy Bitcoin in Nigeria?
A: Nigerian banks do not offer Bitcoin for sale. However, on a p2p marketplace, you can buy BTC from other traders and pay them directly to their bank account or debit/credit card.
Q: How Much Is 1 BTC in Naira Now?
A: On Binance, you will be able to get ~13,644,618 NGN for 1 Bitcoin right now. On Bitpapa, offers to sell BTC start at 14,230,424 NGN.
Q: How Much Is $100 BTC in Naira Now?
A: At the price of $18,994 for 1 Bitcoin, $100 will buy you 0.0052645 BTC. With the real exchange rate of 718.1 NGN per dollar (on Binance in USDT), you can buy that much BTC for 71,810 NGN.