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You'll need a Bitcoin wallet before you buy since some exchanges require one.
Don't have a wallet? Read our guide on the best Bitcoin wallets.
Luno is a Bitcoin exchange with a presence in South Africa, Singapore, Nigeria, Malaysia and Indonesia. It offers 0% fees for market makers, meaning you can avoid fees if you place a buy order then wait for a seller to take it.
Luno also offers an Instant Buy feature.
LocalBitcoins is an escrow service which also helps to match bitcoin buyers and sellers. The most common method of payment for purchase is cash deposit. However, users may advertise trades for whichever payment method they prefer.
Buying bitcoins via an in-person meeting, secured and facilitated by LocalBitcoins, may be one of the fastest and most private ways to buy bitcoins in any country.
NairaEx is the largest Bitcoin exchange in Nigeria. Its customers can purchase bitcoins with Perfect Money, bank transfer or with cash via bank deposit.
BitPesa is a Bitcoin remittance company. They sell bitcoin in Kenya via the popular M-PESA mobile payment service. BitPesa also has a presence in 2 other African countries. In Nigeria, you can use BitPesa to buy bitcoins with your debit card or Paga account. In Uganda, you can buy with MTN or Airtel. Purchase method for Kenya is coming soon.
You can use our Bitcoin ATM map to buy bitcoins with cash. Bitcoin ATMs can be a quick and easy way to buy bitcoins and they're also private. That convenience and privacy, however, comes with a price; most ATMs have fees of 5-10%.
Mycelium Local Trader helps you find local Bitcoin sellers. Once you locate a seller, you meet up in-person and conduct the trade. Mycelium charges absolutely no fees. While Mycelium Local Trader works great in highly-populated areas, users in low population areas will have trouble finding sellers.
Changelly lets you buy bitcoin with Litecoin, Dogecoin, altcoins and many other digital tokens. Changelly works in nearly every country but you will need another cryptocurrency in order to purchase bitcoins. Exchanges happen almost instantly because Changelly never actually controls your tokens but just exchanges them.
Bitcoin-OTC is an over-the-counter marketplace for the peer to peer exchanging of bitcoin. It is almost like a Craigslist for Bitcoin. Users must create ads or locate other ads to find sellers of bitcoin. Bitcoin-OTC is somewhat complicated and hard to use, but may be the only option for users in some countries without an exchange.
Bitcoin has gained immense popularity ever since it was founded by Satoshi Nakamoto almost a decade ago in response to the financial crisis of 2008. With time, the digital currency has found its way into several financial markets along the globe as it is not controlled by a central regulatory authority, and its valuation is fixed by demand and supply on the open market.
This quality of Bitcoin has made the digital currency a big hit in the African nation of Nigeria. In fact, Nigeria was ranked second globally in Bitcoin trading in December last year, accounting for just over 6% of the global Bitcoin trade. Additionally, the value of peer-to-peer transactions in Bitcoin rose around 1,500% in Nigeria in 2017 despite a directive from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) enforcing a ban on virtual currency transactions in January last year.
Clearly, the Nigerian government’s hard-line stance on Bitcoin hasn’t deterred the public from using this cryptocurrency, and for good reason.
The soaring popularity of Bitcoin in Nigeria doesn’t seem surprising at all considering the state of the country’s economy and its currency. The country had artificially supported the price of the Naira from March 2015 for more than a year despite a drop in oil prices and the country’s foreign reserves.
The government was hoping to protect itself against inflation with such a move, but it eventually backfired. The country’s foreign reserves took a hit as fears of devaluation set panic among foreign investors who dumped their holdings in stocks and bonds. Inflation eventually arrived and the government took other extreme measures such as managing foreign exchange demand.
In simple words, Nigeria declared that certain assets were unworthy of spending money on. Additionally, banks imposed a limit on the foreign spends Nigerian customers were able to make. This created a major hassle for importers who needed to make payments in foreign currencies such as the U.S. dollar.
They were now left with an option to access the black market at much higher rates to access foreign currencies. This is where Bitcoin stepped in, as it allowed Nigerian users to make payments to foreign suppliers without much hassle. Not surprisingly, Bitcoin has become the currency of choice for Nigerian entrepreneurs as they are able to beat the Naira’s volatility and the control exercised by the central government.
The massive rise in peer-to-peer Bitcoin payments in Nigeria last year is proof that there are a ton of merchants accepting the digital currency in the country. The low transaction fees associated with the cryptocurrency had encouraged more than 100,000 merchants in Nigeria to accept Bitcoin payments before the end of 2017.
Some of the key merchants accepting Bitcoin in Nigeria are highlighted below:
Gsm2me, owned by Fecund Systems Limited that’s registered in Nigeria, is a site from where customers can purchase mobile airtime, messaging packs, and bulk messaging packs. The site supports over 550 networks spread across 135 countries. The company’s website clearly states that it accepts Bitcoin as a method of payment, apart from other currencies.
Minku, based out of the city of Lagos, is an online boutique and accessories company that sells its products across 16 countries globally also accepts Bitcoin. The company’s founder attributes the ease of doing business that Bitcoin brings as the reason why she accepts the digital currency, pointing out Bitcoin’s quick transaction ability, low fees, and international acceptability as its advantages.
Shopnow is an e-commerce platform in Nigeria based on the model of Overstock. Founder Emmanuel Olorunisola was inspired by Overstock’s model when he purchased a watch on the American internet retailer’s platform using Bitcoin. However, high shipping fees led him to create a Nigeria-specific solution where customers can purchase items using Bitcoin without having to pay additional charges involved while bringing goods from outside the country.
Nigeria is a classic example of a country where Bitcoin popularity has increased rapidly thanks to the problems and restrictions faced by citizens while using traditional currency. The fact that users can easily purchase or sell Bitcoin in Nigeria with the help of bank transfers or debit cards, make payments for international purchases, and transact among each other because of the growing acceptability of this digital currency is proof that it will continue enjoying growth over there.