The price of Bitcoin in Nigeria has skyrocketed to well above global market levels amid continued efforts by the central bank to push its citizens into digitalized cash.
At the time of writing, the price of 1 BTC on the Nigerian crypto exchange NairaEX is 17.8 million nairas, equating to a whopping $38,792.
This is more than a 60% premium over the current market price of Bitcoin, around $23,700 at the time of writing.
It comes as the Central Bank of Nigeria has continued to impose limits on ATM cash withdrawals amid an ongoing effort to accelerate its shift to a cashless society.
#Bitcoin is Hope‼️
BREAKING: 🇳🇬 Bitcoin is selling for a 60% premium in Nigeria (37,235 USD) because of increased demand.
🇳🇬 Central Bank of Nigeria started limiting cash withdrawals to $44 per day earlier this month.
Now leads the world in Google searches for "Buy #Bitcoin " pic.twitter.com/SI861WUhVy
— SHIB Bezos (@BezosCrypto) January 29, 2023
Earlier this month, the central bank imposed a limit on cash withdrawals following a December announcement.
As of Jan. 9, citizens are only allowed to withdraw a maximum of 20,000 nairas (around $43.50) from cash machines per day, with a weekly limit of 100,000 nairas (roughly $217).
The move also came just days before new naira banknotes went into circulation with the aim of curbing inflation and money laundering.
The central bank imposed a deadline of Jan. 24 for Nigerians to exchange their old, higher denomination bank notes for the new currency.
However, there were long queues and complaints that there was insufficient time to meet the deadline. The central bank has now extended that deadline to Feb. 10.
The recent interest in Bitcoin has also seen Nigeria becoming the leading country for Bitcoin web searches, according to Google Trends.
Additionally, on Jan. 26 the Central Bank of Nigeria launched a domestic card scheme to rival foreign cards like Mastercard and Visa.
The “AfriGo” card scheme was designed to give Nigerians better access to bank card services and circumvent often expensive foreign card fees and exchange costs.