The cryptocurrency group reportedly introduced itself to potential clients by promising that its dollar-pegged stablecoins, whose prices were pegged to the dollar, were safer investments than local currencies.
FTX also hosted glamorous events for young Nigerians and offered all new clients a $5 sign-up bonus, the WSJ reported.
International clients lost all their money when the exchange crashed in November, with disgraced former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried arrested in the Bahamas and extradited to the US on eight counts of fraud the following month.
Bankman-Fried also worked to promote FTX in Africa, announcing on Twitter on Nov. 3 that the exchange had begun accepting deposits in West African CFA francs. FTX filed for bankruptcy just eight days later.
When US interest rates rise, international investors seeking higher yields tend to pile on the dollar, which devalues currencies elsewhere.
Prior to 2022, crypto bulls had long pitched digital currencies as a potential hedge against inflation in the developing world.
But rising interest rates, a liquidity crisis and a series of high-profile bankruptcies rocked the sector last year, sending Bitcoin plunging more than 60% to below $17,000.