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  • KuCoin conducted a report with multiple surveys that shows 35% of the adult population aged 18-60 in Nigeria are vested in bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.
  • The investor class is largely made up of a youthful population driven by Nigeria’s median age of 18.4 years old, which leads to 52% of the investors being below the age of 30.
  • Nigeria hosts many long-term investors in the space as its currency, the Naira, has seen a 209% depreciation over a six-year period. 37% of investors in the space have been invested for over 3 years.

KuCoin, a leading cryptocurrency exchange, recently released a report titled “Into The Cryptoverse” where they discussed the penetration of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies into populations of varying countries. Most notable among them is Nigeria; 35%, or 33.4 million, of its adults aged 18-60 owned or traded bitcoin or some form of cryptocurrency in the last 6 months.

Users With Internet Access

This staggering amount of 35% of adults becomes even more bewildering when one recognizes that as of January 2022, only 51% of the entire population of Nigeria has access to the internet, according to the report. Of that 51% of the population, 86% of Nigerian internet users are familiar with cryptocurrency as an investment vehicle. The report also states that according to Google Trends, Nigeria hosted the highest number of searches for Bitcoin in early 2021.

A survey conducted of the penetrated 35% shows that 70% of those users intend to increase their holdings within a short period of time. Another 6% of the population not currently invested were surveyed and said they are interested in investing within the next six months.

Youthful Investor Interest Grows as Naira Falls

Over a course of six years, Nigeria’s currency, Naira, has depreciated 209%, according to the report. The adoption rate of Bitcoin is far more substantial in populations that have a need for Bitcoin, rather than just a want for it. The failing Naira led to earlier adoption that most, as 37% of those currently involved in bitcoin have been invested or trading in the asset for more than 3 years, with another 27% having just started within the past 6 months.

A need to opt out of the existing structure is being driven by the youthful population of Nigeria as its median age sits at 18.4 years old, according to Statista cited in the report. This drives the statistic in which 52% of Nigerians invested in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies under the age of 30.

Gender Parity Among Investors of Nigeria

One interesting statistic KuCoin uncovered in a survey of those currently vested in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies showed 50% gender parity. Nigeria seems to be proving that when economic need, youth of a population, and innovation collide, gender plays no role in the adoption of an emergent monetary system.

Nigeria’s Long-Term Investor Outlook

Low-time preference seems molded with entrepreneurial spirit in Nigeria with 62% of investors believing this emerging system is the future of finance and 50% of investors saying they are in it for the long run. 40% of investors look to use their gains to start a business, 36% are looking for another revenue stream, and 26% seek to rely on their investment as primary income.

Portfolio Diversification

The portfolio diversification, or the lack of diversification in some cases, is a fascinating statistic among Nigerian investors. On average, these investors allocate 60% to cryptocurrency, 20% to cash or bank deposits, and 7% to foreign currencies with additional financial instruments closing the gap, which means over 52% of investors are allocating over half of their portfolio to cryptocurrencies, according to the report.

A little over one-fifth of these investors (22%) store over 90% of their assets in bitcoin or another cryptocurrency. This minority group tends to be slightly older and less familiar with other financial products with a focus on money transfers and transactions, rather than trading.

Conclusion

As of February 2022, 65% of these investors utilize peer-to-peer trading to deposit fiat for cryptocurrencies after the Central Bank of Nigeria barred banks from enabling crypto transactions in February 2021, according to another survey conducted by KuCoin cited in the report.

Further KuCoin data shows a 1,386.7% increase in monthly transactions across African countries from January 2021 - January 2022. During the same period, active users also increased by 2,467.2%.

Countries like Nigeria showcase the need of a new monetary system that allows cross-border payments with minimal fees and global access in its most reliable form. The central authorities of Nigeria have failed to properly care for its citizenry and its youthful population has taken it upon themselves to enforce needed change. While bitcoin certainly serves as a store-of-value for many in more developed places of the world, the humanitarian and altruistic use cases of Bitcoin are what truly make it inevitable.