President Buhari of Nigeria picking his teeth, perhaps he doesn't care about Bitcoin
After a decade of its existence, the gospel of Bitcoin is gradually sweeping across the world. From being known only to the dark web lords a few years ago, the song of Bitcoin is now to be found in the lips of the least expected persons across the globe.
Although a recent research suggests that Bitcoin has about 7.1 million active users globally while only about 5% of Americans hold Bitcoin, there are reasons to believe that these figures will improve considerably in the years ahead.
Interestingly, Africa is not left out in the quest for Bitcoin adoption. Countries such as South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, etc are showing signs of progress. Specifically, an article published in Boomerang claims that Nigerians are trading $4.7 million worth of Bitcoin per week, ranking 23rd globally in terms of trade volumes.
Nevertheless, the need for more Bitcoin adoption in Nigeria cannot be overemphasized. This essay examines three important reasons why every Nigerian must own Bitcoin:
The Naira is Messed Up
Naira is Nigeria's national currency and legal tender. Following Nigeria's independence from Great Britain on October 1st 1960, the Central Bank of Nigeria substituted the British Pound for Naira in 1973 at an exchange rate of 2 Naira for 1 British Pound and 1 Naira for $1.50.
Unfortunately, the Naira only remained stable and strong for a few more years before it started a bearish run that has seen it declining sharply against the British Pound and the American Dollar precisely.
By 1993, about two decades later, $1 was already exchanging for 20 Naira. Today, $1 exchanges for over 360 Naira. One can therefore say that since inception the Naira has crashed by over 30,000% against the USD. This is catastrophic for anyone holding the Naira.
Contrarily, 1Bitcoin was less than 1Naira in 2010 a year after it launched. Today, 1 Bitcoin is roughly estimated at 3million Naira. This means that a Nigerian who invested 10Naira into Bitcoin in 2010, will be a multi-millionaire today.
There could be other fine reasons but the primary reason why every Nigerian must put their money into Bitcoin, I believe, is because the Naira is messed up already largely because of bad economic policies and corruption.
Bitcoin Eliminates the Middlemen
Perhaps due to the economic hardship in Nigeria, Nigerians are one of the most widely travelled people on earth. Nigerians can be found in all the countries of the world, with large concentration in Europe, America, Canada and Asia.
Last year, a widely published report indicated that remittances to Nigeria from Nigerians in the diaspora hit a record $25.5 billion. This figure is the highest in the whole of Africa.
Now, considering that middlemen such as Western Union and Moneygram charge an average of 5% per transaction, then, supposing that all the remittances that came into Nigeria from abroad were sent using these middlemen, it would mean that they would have gulped down about $1.2billion in charges. That's insane, if you ask an insane man like this writer.
It was reported that Binance recently moved $1.26 billion worth of Bitcoin, paying only $124.60 in transaction fees. So, it would have mathematically cost less than $3,000 to transfer $25.5 billion using Bitcoin.
On top of that, it is faster to transfer funds internationally using Bitcoin than using any of the middlemen. Also, Bitcoin is a more secured network for transferring money than going through any of the conventional financial institutions and middlemen.
Every Nigerian needs to grab at least a tiny fraction of Bitcoin regardless of their social status - rich or poor. Choosing to buy Bitcoin over a crate of beer today could make all the difference in the years to ahead. We have seen it before, it could happen again.
I am @gandhibaba, the young man who goes about carrying his magical pen, not his gun, in his pockets.
Gif courtesy of @artzanolino