The fall in Nigeria’s national currency (naira) reportedly pushed many residents to turn to alternative assets like bitcoin and stablecoins to preserve their wealth. Peer-to-peer exchange LocalBitcoins marked a 258% increase in BTC purchases compared to last week’s figures.

Nigerians see Crypto as a lifeboat

Nigeria’s official currency, the naira, is the latest to fall on hard times due to global economic turmoil. In a matter of a month, it plummeted significantly against the US dollar, raising concern among the public.

The panic multiplied when Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, warned bank customers, high-profile individuals and politicians to refrain from withdrawing nairas for conversion into dollars. He said that a relevant surveillance system will track whether such illegal transactions are committed and punish those who do not comply with the rules.

The turmoil in one of Africa’s largest economies led many Nigerians to seek investment options that could serve as a hedge against inflation. In particular, they focused on bitcoin and stablecoins.

Popular P2P trading platform Paxful confirmed that citizens of Nigeria have shown a growing appetite for cryptocurrency during the first half of the year:

“As for Nigeria, trade volume exceeded $760 million last year, and Nigerian users passed the two million mark. And despite the global financial crisis, Paxful is seeing interest in Bitcoin and peer-to-peer not slowing down. In the first half of 2022, the trade volume in Nigeria reached almost $400 million, which shows us that emerging markets are still hungry for bitcoin.”

Digital asset exchange LocalBitcoins also saw a significant increase in interest in the main cryptocurrency. The most recent data showed an increase of 258% compared to the previous week’s figures.

Turks and Argentines also turned to cryptocurrencies

Turkey’s economic condition, specifically the rampant inflation and devaluation of its national currency, became a reason for many Turks to convert their funds into Bitcoin and Tether. It was considered a surprise why locals showed such interest in such digital assets, since gold has been their preferred option for years.

However, not so long ago, the government urged people to bring their precious metal “under the mattress” to the banking system and thus support the fall of the financial network.

Argentina is another country struggling with monetary difficulties and political chaos. In early July, Economy Minister Martín Guzmán resigned from his post, sparking further panic among the locals.

Unsurprisingly with the crisis, many Argentines shifted their focus to cryptocurrencies. According to data from CryptoYa, Binance, and Lemon Cash, the most bought tokens turned out to be US dollar-pegged stablecoins, including Tether.


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