According to one local report, Nigeria’s rise to the top of bitcoin search rankings signals the growing utility of the crypto in that country. The report also explains that country’s youth have been the decisive force behind this surge in bitcoin searches. This assertion is supported by Senator Ihenyen, the new president of the Stakeholders in the Blockchain Technology Association of Nigeria (SIBAN).
In his reaction to Nigeria’s new status, Ihenyen insists this is hardly surprising for a country with a “median age of 18.4.” He contends that in such a scenario, “interest in bitcoin and its adoption should be expected.”
As the Google Trends data confirms, the Nigerian interest in bitcoin is also decentralized with the Delta State ranked first in that country. Lagos, the “most populous city” in Africa is ranked a distant 17th. According to the SIBAN leader, this decentralization of interest suggests that BTC is seen by the youth as “represent(ing) the democratization of access to global wealth.”
Meanwhile, Ihenyen points out that while institutional investor interest in bitcoin is taking hold in countries like the United States, interest for BTC “in Nigeria is as decentralized as the cryptocurrency itself.” The SIBAN president explains:
"Nigerians are experiencing the level of financial inclusion that many have expected for too long. The freedom of money is a powerful thing, especially in a borderless, digital economy. Whether for remittances, e-commerce, bitcoin trading, more and more Nigerians are taking interest in bitcoin daily."
According to Ihenyen, this growing interest be cannot be stopped but “can it be maximized and managed.” He adds that policymakers and regulators should therefore be searching for ways to maximize and manage this interest instead of “looking for the red button.”
In the meantime, the Google Trends data also shows that two more African countries, namely South Africa (2) and Ghana (5), make it into the top five of the rankings. The next highest-ranked African country to feature on the list is Kenya at number 14.
By Terence Zimwara
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