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Sunday, March 26, 2023

Bitcoin Selling at 36% Premium in Nigeria after Emefiele’s Ban

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Bitcoin price topped $52,000 to mark a new all-time high, however, the top cryptocurrency is selling at $71,000 on many exchanges in Nigeria equivalent to a 36 percent premium post the central bank’s banking ban announced a couple of weeks ago.

It’s been roughly 12 days since the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele banned all regulated financial institutions from providing services to cryptocurrency exchanges in the country. At the risk of stiff penalties, all banks and institutions were directed to close crypto-related firms’ accounts immediately.

In the wake of the controversial move, public interest in Bitcoin in Nigeria continues to outstrip other countries, according to the latest available data from Google Trends. Even more stark is the hefty 36 percent premium on Bitcoin’s price in the country.

The premium is also incomparable to the five next largest premiums globally at present: 3.24 percent in South Africa, and between 1 percent and 3 percent in Argentina, Peru, Malaysia and Vietnam.

As a Cointelegraph analysis outlined last week, the central bank ban appears to have done little to quell Bitcoin demand in the country.

Blockchain.com published a report back in Aug. 2020 revealing that Nigeria had been the best-performing country on its platform since April of that year. Google Trends at the time likewise reflected the country’s persistent top ranking in terms of global search interest in Bitcoin.

Nigeria senator Sani Musa remarked during a plenary Senate on Feb. 11 that Bitcoin posed a significant threat to the national currency, the naira, although other lawmakers countered his argument with an argument in favor of cracking down on rogue actors using crypto, rather than preventing citizens from doing “great business” and benefiting from opportunities in the cryptocurrency industry.

Binance, one of the leading global crypto exchanges launched a peer to peer (P2P) for Nigerian traders to help them ease their crypto trade.

Many governments in the past have tried banning bitcoin but soon realized that it only fueled their crisis as more people jump onto the bandwagon.

Nigeria is the latest country to realize that after its Central bank decided to restrict banking services to crypto companies, demand for Bitcoin post the banking ban seems to have skyrocketed as evident from the high premium prices.

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