Why Are Nigerians Embracing Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies?

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December 2, 2019 by
Why Are Nigerians Embracing Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies?

Nigerians have been on the receiving end of some stringent international sanctions when it comes to financial transactions. PayPal, which is one of the most popular electronic payment platforms restricts Nigerians in different ways. You can send PayPal and make payments, but cannot receive if you are a Nigerian. That’s not good. Other platforms that deal with transactions also adopt some special conditions when dealing with Nigerians.

This situation is rather unfortunate, especially when you consider the volume of offshore transactions that happen across the Nigerian financial sector. The high level of migration implies that many Nigerians send money home to their families and friends. At the same time, due to the huge dependence on imported goods, there has to be cross border payments by Nigerian businesses.

The implication of the above scenario is that many genuine businesses and individuals are suffering the consequences of the bad actors. It is because of these bad actors who indulge in illicit transactions and theft that all these conditions are in place.

Bitcoin Comes as a Relief

The arrival of Bitcoin and other forms of blockchain-based transactions present some level of relief to many Nigerians. For those who are familiar with this technology, it is saving them cost and time, and at the same time enhancing their reputation as honest individuals or businesses.

Bitcoin transactions are transparent in nature. With a few clicks, you can see and track any payment to the letter. What this means is that the origin and destination of any money that is paid or transferred in Bitcoins is open for all to see. This transparency makes it easy for users to trust one another, or more appropriately, trust the system.

The issue of trust is very significant in the financial sector. There are somethings that you cannot take away from human nature, no matter how much you try. The fact that there are punishments implies that there will be offenders. Therefore, rather than waiting at the other end to arrest financial criminals, why not address the system from the beginning?

This is where Bitcoin and cryptocurrency transactions play important roles. They enable us to eliminate the possibility of certain irregularities. Nobody that is scheduled to make payment in Bitcoin can claim to have done so without really making the payment. All you need is the hash ID of a transaction to view its authenticity and status. Hence, transparency remains one of the key factors why Nigerians are rapidly adopting Bitcoin and cryptocurrency.

The Facts About Privacy and Anonymity of Bitcoin

Bitcoin transactions can be relatively private being that it is a peer-to-peer system of transaction. Many people still do not understand what it actually means for a transaction that is transparent to also be private. Well, you can view any and every transaction on the Bitcoin network, but you cannot outrightly tell who are the parties involved. This is as a result of how the public keys in any transaction are represented. They are usually in the form of strings of codes, and unless users let you know their public keys, there is no way that you can attach transactions to them.

This privacy which is born out of the pseudo anonymous nature of Bitcoin has been a subject of debate in the industry. It is seen as one of the reasons why governments and institutions are reluctant in adopting Bitcoin. The narrative is that it will aid criminals and encourage illicit transactions. A closer look will let you know why this should not be an issue at all, especially at this stage of Bitcoin development.

For now, Bitcoin cannot exist alone. It needs other traditional platforms like exchanges and banks as gateways. Bitcoin will still rely on these institutions for many years to come in one way or the other. Therefore, the fact that transactions can be traced easily even makes it a more reasonable system of transactions when investigations are involved. Unlike cash that can go untraced, all Bitcoin transactions can be identified and traced completely. All that is needed is some patience, and at the gateways where identification is possible, agencies can find what they are looking for.

How About the Security of Transactions?

The fact that you will need to take over at least 51% of the Bitcoin network before you can control it makes it almost impossible to attack the network. This is a network that is comprised of millions of computers scattered all over the world. To this effect, Bitcoin is regarded as a very secure transaction system. This same security extends to the data storage on the network. Once a transaction has been confirmed, it can never be changed. This is why users are comfortable dealing with one another. It is also why the restrictions that Nigerians have suffered from other systems are unnecessary when it comes to Bitcoin. You cannot forge or roll back a transaction.

Bitcoin transactions happen immediately, and the fees are insignificant when compared to traditional payment methods. Perhaps, this is also one of the reasons why Nigerians are embracing it. You do not have to wait for a response from the receiver or his bank to confirm settlement, it is right there before you. At the same time, there are no intermediaries whose services you have to pay for. It is the presence of intermediaries that make traditional transactions costly.

One More Hurdle to Cross

The main problem that Bitcoin users are still facing is the extent of volatility that it exhibits in terms of price. This is not just about price changes during transactions. It continues to long after you have received payment in Bitcoin, the value might increase or reduce drastically. For users who are more concerned about accumulation, and are patient enough, this could eventually be most beneficial to them. From all indications, Bitcoin price is expected to rise significantly in the long run.

For those you are involved in constantly moving funds around for business, the price volatility of Bitcoin could represent a setback for now. It is expected that when mainstream adoption improves Bitcoin will become more stable and users will worry less about quick price changes. Until then, the other qualities of the cryptocurrency and the extent of accessibility provides Nigerians with a viable alternative. This explains the well documented growing interest among users from the region, and also the influx of foreign service providers. These ones see the available market in terms of population and infrastructural deficiency as an opportunity for them to exploit.

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