People who think $23,000 per Bitcoin (BTC) is “too expensive” may be surprised it hit $38,000 in Nigeria as people struggle to get their hands on fiat money. This is approximately 60% premium compared to the global prices of BTC.
Nigerians run after Bitcoin
Reportedly, the government is limiting its citizens from withdrawing more than $44 per day from ATMs, which resulted in a massive price increase of Bitcoin in Nigerian nairas (NGN). To be exact, the price of 1 BTC at NairaEX, the Nigerian crypto exchange, is currently 17.5 million nairas, which is $38,000.
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This is $15,000 more per Bitcoin in their local currency. Fiat currencies lose value regularly, especially in developing countries like Nigeria or Venezuela. Nigerian citizens are jumping on crypto, realizing it’s the most effective solution at the moment.
This is just a bit of what is happening right now in Nigeria as the banks prevent people from withdrawing cash. A lot of ATMs are empty, especially in the east and the few with the new naira notes have long queues with people fighting to pull out their money. So sad to see this. pic.twitter.com/Pkw8hJhWF3
— Ragnar Danneskjold (5th Ghost)🩺🔬 (@naija_bitcoin) January 30, 2023
People are fighting to withdraw money from ATMs, which only have a limit of around $44 withdrawals per day. This despair caused Nigerians to buy BTC at 60%, or even 100% higher than at the price it is right now at Paxful, a peer-to-peer (P2P) trading platform.
Long queues made it impossible for everyone to get their cash, ending up buying Bitcoin at extreme prices. This is not the first nor the last time Bitcoin premium surged so dramatically in the country. Bitcoin premium also surged in early 2021 when the central bank imposed a ban on providing services to crypto exchanges in Nigeria.
Now almost everyone is Googling how to buy Bitcoin in the country, and the demand for crypto is stronger than ever. Bitcoin was proclaimed dead many times in the past, but it always seems to come back more expensive.