In May 2020 Google Trends Data showed Nigeria ranked 8th on the topic of cryptocurrency. This was reflective of the growing interest and usage of cryptocurrency in the country and across the continent.
The popularity of crypto in Africa has largely grown more out of necessity than sheer interest. There is a great need for the utility that cryptocurrencies provide, especially as it has helped deal with several financial challenges and provided a means for the continent's teeming youth population to find financial freedom without relying on largely overburdened and inadequate government systems and institutions.
However, in Nigeria, which is the most populous country in Africa and has a significant youth population, a recent news implying a clampdown on cryptocurrency exchanges in the country has not gone down well with this demography particularly.
The circular seen above was recently issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria, the country's apex bank and financial regulator. Several interpretations of this circular have been shared since it was released, but the crux of the matter seems to be that trading of cryptocurrency in Nigeria is essentially banned.
This is a huge blow to a country that has only recently begun to unravel the many benefits and possibilities that cryptocurrency provides, and many young people have criticized this move extensively. It is hard to imagine what good would come out of this move, but if recent history tells anything about the Nigerian youth, it is that they will certainly find a way to come out on top of this in no time.