Bitcoin premium hits 60% in Nigeria as it limits ATM cash withdrawals

Bitcoin premium hits 60% in Nigeria as it limits ATM cash withdrawals

The value of Bitcoin (BTC) in Nigeria has skyrocketed to nicely above market ranges amid continued efforts by the central financial institution to push its residents into digitalized cash.

At the time of writing, the value of 1 BTC on Nigerian crypto alternate NairaEX is presently 17.8 million Naira, equating to a whopping $38,792.

This represents greater than a 60% premium over the present market value of Bitcoin, which is round $23,700 on 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 speed up its shift to a cashless society.

Earlier this month, the central financial institution imposed a restrict on cash withdrawals following a December announcement.

As of Jan. 9, residents have been solely allowed to withdraw a most of 20,000 NGN (round $43.50) from cash machines (ATMs) per day with a restrict of 100,000 NGN (roughly $217).

The transfer additionally got here simply days earlier than new Naira banknotes went into circulation with the purpose of curbing inflation and cash laundering. The central financial institution imposed a deadline of Jan. 24 for Nigerians to alternate their outdated greater denomination financial institution notes for the brand new forex.

However, individuals suffered lengthy queues amid complaints that there was inadequate time to fulfill the deadline. The central financial institution has now prolonged that deadline to Feb. 10 based on reports on Jan. 29.

It isn’t the primary time the Bitcoin premium has surged in Nigeria. In February 2021, the central financial institution banned regulated financial institutions from offering companies to cryptocurrency exchanges in the nation. This drove the BTC premium as excessive as 36% on the time.

Related: Nigeria set to pass bill recognizing Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies

The current curiosity in Bitcoin has additionally seen Nigeria changing into the main nation for Bitcoin internet searches, based on Google Trends.

Additionally, on Jan. 26 Reuters reported that the Central Bank of Nigeria launched a home card scheme to rival international playing cards like MasterCard and Visa.

The “AfriGo” card scheme was designed to present Nigerians higher entry to financial institution card companies and circumvent typically costly international card charges and alternate prices.