It is becoming common every day to see smaller exchanges opening physical stores to trade Cryptocurrency as well as gift cards in Nigeria. Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy is recording a high level of progression from the use of crypto. In a country where a lot of people are deemed to be scammers, and in which many of the online scams happen through digital currencies. And yet, people are not deterred. Since the increase in the petrol pump prize, the coronavirus pandemic restrictions, and less demand for Crude Oil Globally, The Nigerian Naira is staggering. There is a massive surge in crypto use cases in Africa according to statistics. People are beginning to exchange their fiats into cryptos.

However, with this level of increase and rising number of users of the crypto, there is fear that the fraud level would increase. The Crypto industry recorded over 24 million USD fraud, during the second half of 2020, with the twitter hack of July being one of the most recent. Although the major problem is that people are being talked into seeing crypto as a means to get rich quick as opposed to a currency.  The Twitter hack was an obvious scam and yet people fell for it globally.

How do we then begin to control the misinformation of crypto in the African space? Crypto scammers key into the hardship and the misinformation of the public to commit their crimes.  So their schemes can easily be identified. Here is the truth, If it is too good to be true, then you shouldn’t trust it in the first place. 

Some people are champions of Regulation, although it is true that it will go a long way to reduce the spread of crypto fraud, it may never stop the ignorance. I think what is needed more is education; seminars and conferences clearing the air of what cryptos are and what they are not. There can never be enough learning.  A lot of wallets are doing a good job with these, but I think the numbers are still lopsided. 

Its no news that Major oil companies are abandoning their rigs and moving into a more futuristic business that causes less environmental pollution. Nigeria whose major source of revenue is through oil export will have to start diversifying.  This is because the naira is still to face one of its biggest devaluations so far.  Consequently, Nigerians are beginning to jump into the crypto space because of the looming uncertainties.
By the end of 2020, We may be witnessing a massive increase in the use of crypto from the continent, and especially from Nigeria giving the large population. Although this is good news for the global crypto community, it is also going to be a challenging transformation for a lot of individuals.

Finally, since exchanges are sprouting up close to our local communities, for safety and to avoid Scam it is better to use physical dealers or trusted apps.  If you are just getting into the crypto community, read up as much as you can. Attend conferences and start planning for the future of currency. Remember, cryptos are just money, learn to treat them like you will your physical fiat, and you will be sure not to be duped.

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Hillary Uzomba

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