The Nigerian person-to-person (P2P) bitcoin exchange, Bitkoin.Africa, launched on October 1st. The exchange currently only provides Nigerian users with full functionality, but claims to allow customers from “all other countries” to buy bitcoins.
Nigeria has become host to a P2P bitcoin exchange seeking to facilitate greater access to bitcoin throughout the African region. Bitkoin.Africa has been launched by a team of Nigerian developers including Timi Ajiboye.
The platform currently only allows Nigerian users to post listings to sell bitcoins, however, offers listings to buy to customers from “all other countries.” The exchange provides wallet and escrow services, and facilitates a range of payment methods via Paystack. According to Techmoran, Ajiboye stated that “each Bitkoin Africa account comes with a bitcoin wallet that enables users store, receive and send bitcoin. Bitkoin Africa transactions are carried out online and are facilitated by users’ Nigerian bank accounts or Naira debit cards.”
Timi Ajiboye announced the launch of Bitkoin.Africa via twitter, posting that he and his team had “been working hard on something for the past four months; a bitcoin exchange for Africa.” Ajiboye garnered international attention in 2016 for his and his partner’s involvement in the development of Muslimcondemn – a website which hosts “a collection of all the cases where Muslims have condemned wrongdoings done falsely in the name of Islam” in an attempt to provide a greater public platform for the sentiments of Islamic moderates.
Bitkoin.Africa enters a relatively crowded market of companies providing exchange services to the Nigerian bitcoin community, with Luno, Remitano, and NairaEX already competing for the loyalty of local cryptocurrency users. Shopnow.ng, an e-commerce website claiming to be the first of its kind in Nigeria to solely accept bitcoin as a means of payment, opened its doors in recent months – suggesting that cryptocurrency demand and adoption is growing locally.
Shopnow is reported to have stated that “bitcoin is becoming more popular in Nigeria and today the country has the highest volume of Bitcoin transactions in Africa and according to google trends, Nigeria is the country that searches the word “Bitcoin” the most on google.com in the whole world.” P2P bitcoin trading on localbitcoins has shown a steady rise in volume since November 2016. Weekly trading volume has oscillated between the 900,000,000 – 1,100,000,000 Nigerian Naira area in recent weeks, excluding the sudden spike that established the current all-time high of approximately 1,866,600,000 during the week of the fifth of August.
The increased entrance of Nigerian investors into the cryptocurrency markets has not gone unnoticed by the country’s Central Bank. Last month, the Deputy Director of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Musa Jimoh, stated that the apex bank “cannot stop the tide of waves generated by the blockchain technology and its derivatives”, during a recent conference in Lagos. Speaking at the same conference, David Isiawe, President of the Information Security Society of Nigeria, stated “the reality… is that the distributed ledger technology, blockchain and cryptocurrency are facts that we must face, whether we like it or not. We cannot wish this reality away.”
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