2020 year 3 month , The Nigerian government suddenly banned textile import companies from earning foreign exchange , Moses · AVA was in trouble . His business —— Import woven shoes from Guangzhou, China , In the northern city of Cano (Kano) And his hometown Abia (Abia) sales , It has been struggling with the domestic economy for several years , Now this cruel ban has pushed AVA to the edge of the cliff ." This is a serious crisis , I must act quickly ." AVA said .
AVA found his brother OSI , Ossie from 2019 Began to buy bitcoin in ." He's been hoarding bitcoin , And firmly believe that this will become a great investment in the future . When the state issues a foreign exchange ban , I began to realize that I should do the same . I can pay bitcoin to my supplier , They are also willing to accept ."
△ Nigeria's national currency, the naira, plunged , Many Nigerian companies have turned to bitcoin for settlement .
According to blockchain research companies Chainalysis Data show that , Nigeria is now the world's second largest bitcoin trading market after the United States . This year only 7 month , The value of cryptocurrency purchased by Nigerian users through exchanges exceeds 24 Billion dollars , The overall size of the cryptocurrency market in Africa's largest economy is much larger , Because many users use anonymous transactions that analysts cannot track .
From political repression to currency control , Then to rampant inflation , A series of factors contributed to the explosive growth of cryptocurrency in Nigeria . This year, 2 month , The government banned cryptocurrency transactions through licensed banks .7 late , Also announced a state-controlled digital currency pilot program , Hope to reduce the number of people who want to use unregulated cryptocurrencies .
△ Nigerian traders regard bitcoin as a life-saving straw . source ： Temillard · Adelaha / (Reuters) -
But these measures have not done much to curb trading , The exchange reports that crypto trading volume continues to rise this year .
Nigeria is one of the youngest countries in the world , There is a mature digital financial market . But at the same time , And there are a large number of poor people , Fraud and pyramid schemes are rampant .
For many people , Foreign exchange trading is a part of daily life .2020 year , The total amount of remittances sent back to Nigeria by Nigerians working abroad exceeds 170 Billion dollars . meanwhile , Foreign exchange also plays a role in preserving assets , In the past year , The national currency of Nigeria is the naira (Naira) The exchange rate against the dollar has plummeted by nearly 30%. When the government issued a foreign exchange ban , The important task of asset preservation and risk hedging falls on cryptocurrency .
Political factors also play an important role , Many people believe that cryptocurrency is an important protection against government repression .
last year 10 month , Nigeria has witnessed the largest protests in decades , Tens of thousands of people took to the streets to protest against the notorious Sars Police brutality —— They are Lekki Shot during law enforcement at the toll station 12 An innocent civilian .
"EndSars" The protest was suppressed by the police , They beat up the demonstrators , And used high-pressure water guns and tear gas to violence the demonstrators , Lead to 50 Several protesters died .
△ Demonstrations against police brutality in the streets of Nigeria . source ： (Reuters) -
The government's repression is also financial , Support the demonstrators 、 Civil society organizations raising funds for demonstrations 、 Protest groups and individuals , Suddenly their bank accounts were frozen overnight .
Women's Rights League (Feminist Coalition), A group that provided medical aid and food to demonstrators , When the organization's bank account is frozen , They began to accept bitcoin donations , And finally raised value 15 $million in bitcoin funds .
Twitter The founder of 、 The famous cryptocurrency preacher Jack · Dorsey （Jack Dorsey） Also in its personal Twitter The account forwarded bitcoin from the feminist League Donation Account Number , The move angered the Nigerian government , Then the government banned Twitter Services in Nigeria .
"EndSars" The protests are like a catalyst , This incident caused fear among the people , They fear that the authorities will suddenly launch economic sanctions , therefore , People decided to avoid government organizations and institutions . Now? , Many organizations in Nigeria keep a lot of money in cryptocurrency .
To avoid retaliation from the authorities , The leader of a civil society organization said anonymously , Their organization's bank account dates back to last year 10 The month was frozen , Now cryptocurrency is their only guarantee against malicious government interference .
He said ：" We have transferred all our assets to cryptocurrency , It turned out to be the right decision , Now the government imposes sanctions on us , But in this case , We can still pay and keep running ."
This year, 2 month , The Central Bank of Nigeria requires all banks in the country to close customer accounts involved in cryptocurrency transactions . Financial institutions are prohibited from participating in any cryptocurrency related business , Otherwise, it will face sanctions .
At the beginning of this ban, it caused a great blow to the emerging cryptocurrency market , Because many customers rely on commercial banks to facilitate transactions between buyers and sellers . However , Not long after , Many customers have found solutions .
A large number of trading activities have been transferred underground , Many Nigerians use OTC channels , Make anonymous transactions .Telegram and WhatsApp And a large number of OTC groups have emerged on Social Software , People trade directly with each other in chat groups . Such a transaction is beyond the reach of regulators .
The trading platform has also been adjusted , They changed the names of some cryptocurrencies , As long as words like cryptocurrency do not appear on the transaction page , They can still continue to operate .
The government's crackdown not only did not impact the cryptocurrency market , On the contrary, it also stimulated the demand for cryptocurrency . according to LocalBitcoins Published data ,2021 Years ago 5 Months , The volume of cryptocurrency transactions in Nigeria has increased over the same period last year 50%.
The Nigerian government is beginning to realize that cryptocurrency cannot be stopped , This is a trend they can't control . And what scares them is , They are not used to being in this position .
author | Emmanuel Akinwotu
translate & proofreading | Lin mango
From the perspective of mining （ Miracle Moore ） Translation, arrangement and editing , If you want to reprint , Please indicate the source