Last updated on
January 18, 2022

A cryptocurrency is a digital currency or digital asset that is built on a blockchain. Due to their increasing monetary value, some cryptocurrencies are now viewed as stores of value, thus, have become popular as trading or investment instruments.

Bitcoin is the most popular, most mined, and most valuable cryptocurrency in the world. Currently, 18.9 million bitcoins are in circulation which is 90% of the world’s total supply according to Coinbase - just 21 million bitcoins have been made available for mining.

There are more than 8,000 active cryptocurrencies in the world with a global market capitalization put at $1.98 trillion.

Nigerian Context

In February 2021, Nigeria's Central Bank prohibited local banks from dealing with cryptocurrencies, threatening "severe regulatory sanctions" and freezing the accounts of firms it claimed were using them. Right after the ban, the dollar volume of cryptocurrencies sent from Nigeria shot up to $132 million, according to Chainalysis.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in Nigeria has published regulatory guidelines for digital currencies and crypto-based companies or startups, indicating that they will monitor crypto-token or crypto-coin investments where the nature of the investments qualifies as securities transactions.
Nigeria is yet to regulate cryptocurrencies.

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