Nigerian blockchain and crypto enthusiasts have said recent reports suggesting that local residents are paying a premium of almost 100% on top of the prevailing price of bitcoin “are totally false.” They argue that such reports are based on a claim that is being propagated by persons who do not fully grasp the dynamics in the country and should therefore be ignored.
Supposed 100% BTC Premium Generates Global Interest
Some Nigerian crypto and blockchain users and enthusiasts have said recent reports suggesting that the value of BTC on local crypto exchanges is nearly double the prevailing U.S. dollar value are totally false. According to the users, the reports are based on tweets posted by social media users who do not fully understand how Nigerian residents use local crypto exchange platforms.
— 🧡NEEDcreations is stacking sats & jamming to EDM (@NEEDcreations) January 30, 2023
The pushback by the Nigerian enthusiasts and influencers came as the claim, which was reportedly sparked by a single tweet, continues to generate interest among bitcoiners. In their initial tweet thread, the user shared a screenshot which suggested that Nigerians are buying one BTC on the peer-to-peer platform Paxful at $47,924.
The user also claimed that the recent cash withdrawal restrictions imposed by the Nigerian central bank have seen many residents swap their naira for BTC. This has helped push up the crypto asset’s U.S. dollar value, the user argued.
However, in his reaction to the tweet and the subsequent media reports, Benjamin Eseoghene, the CEO of local crypto exchange Roqqu, told Bitcoin.com News that while price discrepancies do exist, it is simply not true that bitcoin is trading above $47,000 in Nigeria.
“This is totally false, we’re trading at normal price, tho there’s some speculation around the crash of dollar rate after the general elections, maybe by then there can be some premium, but likely nowhere near 100%,” Eseoghene insisted.
The Roqqu CEO also suggested that some of the social media users propagating this claim are only doing so to sell a certain narrative.
Meanwhile, on Twitter, some Nigerian users insisted that the widely circulating screenshot is misleading and that no one is buying the crypto at over $47,000. Others, like Nathaniel Luz, an author and crypto advocate, bemoaned how a single tweet can easily be used to spread “half-truths and one-sided stories.”
Nigerians are paying 48k for one #Bitcoin and you are waiting for 10k in your 1st world luxury surroundings watching Netflix. Ya, sure, you are the smart one.
— John W. Creasy (💫☝️) (@21milinfinity) January 30, 2023
Luz also said the persons using BTC values on Paxful to propagate the 100% premium claims do not understand how Nigerians use the P2P (peer-to-peer) platform.
“This is not even the price on Paxful. I was the Product Manager in charge of Payment Methods at Paxful. The PM here is ‘Game Items’ not fiat money. Game items mean I want to exchange a FIFA 23 voucher for BTC. You get? It’s a false representation,” Luz said.
According to Luz, there is no crypto exchange where Nigerians pay a premium of 20% on the price of BTC.
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Terence Zimwara is a Zimbabwe award-winning journalist, author and writer. He has written extensively about the economic troubles of some African countries as well as how digital currencies can provide Africans with an escape route.
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