More Nigerians than ever are picking up interest in Bitcoin, according to trend results on Google. The most populous black nation set the record for the region with the highest search for keywords such as “buy Bitcoin” over the past 12 months. Ghana, Kenya, Ethiopia, and South Africa are other countries on the top five curious list.
The biggest searches came from areas around Delta, Edo, Anambra, Bayelsa, and Rivers — mostly coastal regions of the country.
Since the turn of the new year, the country has struggled with the rising cost of living. The energy cost has risen 400% over the last three months, spiking a dangerous scarcity that has left thousands in daily queues at fuel stations.
Faced with an 18.5% inflation rate, recent monetary policies, which involved a redesign of its top three local currency denominations, have done little to help. Over the last few days, various trending videos on social media show frustrated citizens searching for ‘scarce’ naira baulking at local bank operatives.
The country was one of the first to float a CBDC, now largely regarded as a failure, given that its total CBDC transactions in a year (last computed as $1.8 million) equals just three days of Bitcoin for the region. The e-naira has only about one million active users out of 211 million citizens.
Finland is Curious about Ethereum
Other search trends for queries such as “buy ethereum” had countries like Finland, Singapore, Columbia, South Korea and Brazil as the top five curious nations on its list. Developers within the region recently launched EUROe—an Ethereum-based stablecoin backed by the Euro. This will join the likes of EUROC and EURS—developed by Circle and Cardano — to attend to the stablecoin needs of the European market.
Crypto: Iran’s Hope Against Sanctions
Given the flurry of sanctions plaguing the war-torn region, it was unsurprising to find Iran at the top of the search query “how to buy crypto.” The country recently partnered with Russia to form an interconnected banking system capable of evading US sanctions.
Although—as part of their compliance process—most big crypto companies operational in the US and European markets maintain a list of countries forbidden access to service, Iranians still strongly believe that getting into crypto will play a big role in accessing the global market with lesser hindrances. Other top five countries looking up ways to buy crypto are Romania, Morocco, Hungary and Poland.