The African continent made its way to the crypto world and has been experiencing a steadily growing demand for crypto technology and regulations. As we watch the crypto market blossom and many African countries become potential hubs for crypto users, it is important to pay attention to the background of each pawn in this game to better understand how they made it to the forefront. In such a diverse continent, some countries stand out in pursuing a more stable economy modernized by digital tokens and crypto transactions and are home to many citizens embracing cryptocurrencies without further ado. Here are four African territories that seem to be going in the right direction:
Nigeria has more cryptocurrency investors than any other African nation, which is why it comes first on our list. Almost 34 million Nigerians are active in the crypto market. This number is highly impressive if we consider the many bumps that crypto adoption has faced in the country in the past two years due to crypto bans imposed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Furthermore, a report issued by Google Trends in April showed that Nigerian users are responsible for the highest number of bitcoin-related Google searches in the first quarter of 2021. Since then, the young population in Nigeria has been playing an essential role in increasing, even more, the popularity of cryptocurrencies in the country. Crypto holders are more than 35% of the entire population of Nigeria between 18 and 60 years old, and all of them have been actively trading, buying, and selling their crypto assets in the past six months. Since the Nigerian Naira has been downfalling and depreciating as a national currency compared to other currencies around the world for more than six years, many of these active crypto users claim that they would like to keep betting on the financial solutions they find within the crypto market. Statistical data from this sector in Nigeria also shows that four years ago, even before the recent years of surging popularity, almost 40% of investors now active in Nigeria had already started to manage assets in the form of crypto.
The second name on our list is Kenya, home to 4.5 million crypto owners. According to the Cryptocurrency Adoption Index, Kenya occupies the 12th position in the list of countries with the highest rates of crypto ownership. On top of that, when it comes to blockchain-based transactions and volume traded in P2P platforms, Kenya also stands out compared to other African nations that still fall behind in crypto popularity. Kenyans are also responsible for putting their country in the top ten of the worldwide list made by Google regarding the number of searches involving the keyword “cryptocurrency”. Recently, Kenya’s leading energy-producing company announced that it would be inviting Bitcoin miners to the country to benefit from its incredible renewable energy structure in the surrounding area of Nairobi, claiming that it has enough “space and power” to accommodate the needs of such a consuming industry. This will likely guarantee Kenya’s spot on the list of African nations on the frontline of crypto adoption in the near future.
Egyptians have increased their demand for cryptocurrency in the past two years, and Egypt is currently home to almost 2 million crypto users. Egypt is a particularly interesting name on this list because of the religious background of the country and the fact that illegal practices are considered a sin (“haram”) in the eyes of the Islamic state. However, it is important to clarify that cryptocurrencies have become more popular in the country for a valid reason. More Egyptian citizens started to engage with the crypto market since Egypt’s fiat currency, the Egyptian pound, became extremely unstable and devalued. Because of the multiple issues caused by a volatile national economy, many citizens started to secure their assets in the form of Bitcoins or other cryptocurrencies. Despite the Islamic laws that do not walk in the same direction as crypto adoption, P2P data from the country show that in 2021, Egyptians traded an average volume of USD 205.000 per week in crypto. Crypto traders became invested in understanding the options to escape financial instability and look for additional forms of income as they noticed that, compared to the worldwide economy, it was unrealistic to expect that the Egyptian pound would upsurge in a short period.
Ethiopia is another example of a country that navigates against the odds. The Ethiopian Central Bank made many attempts to make Bitcoin illegal and banned any kind of transactions with bitcoins in the country. The Ethiopian authorities justify this decision with the high number of informal financial transactions and money laundering cases in the country and claim that digital assets might increase the rates of such crimes. Ethiopians do not have any legal backup to crypto transactions made in their territory, and the local government does not legitimize or recognize any sort of crypto assets, but that does not stop more than 1.2 million citizens from investing in the crypto market. The rising inflation that reached up to 40% in the past year and the scarcity of foreign currency are the most impactful factors affecting the scenario, encouraging citizens to look for alternative financial solutions, which might be the reason behind the growing community of Ethiopian citizens embracing crypto assets. If the nation's economy continues to be held hostage by this hostile condition, we might see more of Ethiopia in our crypto news digest any time soon.
It is worth noting that Africa’s crypto market has grown by $105 million in the last year, and these nations have indeed participated in making it happen. African countries have been dribbling financial and structural issues for many decades, directly impacting the economic reality of many African territories. The good news is that crypto technology is here and keeps bringing progress and opening new possibilities. We hope to keep adding more names to this list.