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Nigeria and South Africa emerging as key hubs of crypto economy on the continent

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TUE, JULY 07 2020-theG&BJournal– Nigeria and South Africa are emerging as key hubs of the crypto economy on the continent. Nigeria’s use of bitcoin has surged exponentially with recent statistics (https://bit.ly/2VR1ZKD) showing that between May and June this year, the country recorded more than $35 million (R604 136 750) in peer-to-peer bitcoin trades, while rival South Africa saw a transactional value of $7 million (R120 827 350).

Paxful, a leading peer-to-peer bitcoin marketplace (https://Paxful.com) that aims to bring financial inclusion and access to the underbanked and unbanked in developing countries, has been the driving force behind the growth. The firm today announced it has joined forces with OKEx (https://www.OKEx.com/), one of the world’s largest and most diverse cryptocurrency spot and derivatives exchanges.

The surge in trade volume in Nigeria and South Africa is attributed to various elements, including uncertainty in the ‘traditional’ economy, increasing education about the crypto-economy, and the emergence of various virtual currency marketplaces in Africa yielding more income-generating opportunities through bitcoin.

For South Africa, Africa’s most advanced economy, overall, the year-on-year increase in trading volume for bitcoin currently stands at 994%. The trading volume for bitcoin was approximately $14 483.48 (R250 000) for the week of June 22, 2019, compared to the trading volume of almost $434 504.27 (R7.5 million) recorded for the same period this year, equating to a year-on-year increase of more than 2800% trading volume for the week.

A recent report (https://bit.ly/2ZIRpXj) identifies that bitcoin is of keen interest to many in Africa. Kenya topped the list with 94.7% of all cryptocurrency-related searches attributed to bitcoin, while Nigeria and South Africa had high percentages of 89.4% and 89%, respectively.

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