It has been about 11 days since the Central Bank of Nigeria banned all regulated financial institutions from providing cryptocurrency exchange services in the country. Due to the imposition of strict fines, all banks and institutions have been instructed to immediately close corporate accounts associated with cryptocurrencies.
As a result of this controversial movement, public interest in Bitcoin (BTC) in Nigeria continues to outpace other countries, according to the latest figures from Google Trends. Even stronger is the significant 36% premium to Bitcoin’s price at the time of writing on February 16.
The premium corresponds to a price of $ 71,150 per bitcoin, compared to the average spot market price of $ 51,314 calculated from the Cointelegraph Price Index. This award is also unmatched with the five largest awards in the world today: 3.24% in South Africa and 1% to 3% in Argentina, Peru, Malaysia and Vietnam.
As Cointelegraph analysis showed last week, the immediate effect of the central bank ban appears to have done little to curb what the author has called the “supercurrency” of the nation’s retail culture. Blockchain.com released a report in August 2020 showing that Nigeria has been the country with the best performers on the platform since April of that year. Google Trends at the time also reflected the country’s consistently high ranking in terms of global interest in bitcoin searches.
Citing the aftermath of the central bank’s ban, the Nigeria Securities and Exchange Commission suspended planned regulatory protections for crypto companies last week.
Seni Nigeria Sani Musa pointed out in a plenary session on February 11 that Bitcoin poses a serious threat to the national fiat currency, Naira, although other lawmakers have challenged this argument, arguing for combating fraudulent users using digital currencies instead of preventing citizens from doing this is. … “Big business” and using the opportunities of the cryptocurrency industry.
Representatives of cryptocurrency companies in Nigeria declined to comment on the award to Cointelegraph, citing the sensitive climate after Nigeria’s central bank banned banking for crypto companies.