“Bitcoin has rendered our currency almost useless or worthless.”
These are the words spoken by Nigerian Senator Sani Musa and reported in a tweet on the official profile of the Senate of Nigeria.
“Cryptocurrency has become a worldwide transaction of which you cannot even identify who owns what. The technology is so strong that I don’t see the kind of regulation that we can do. Bitcoin has made our currency almost useless or valueless." – Senator Sani Musa
— The Nigerian Senate (@NGRSenate) February 11, 2021
The tweet was published at 1:04 PM CET, and almost immediately the price of bitcoin took off.
In fact, by 1 PM it had already risen a little to around $46,000, but thanks to the spread of the news from Nigeria, within less than 30 minutes it hit a new all-time high of around $48,200.
It all stems from a discussion during the Legislative Day of the Federal Senate of the Republic of Nigeria.
This discussion was attended by several senators, and Musa was just one of those who mentioned cryptocurrencies in his speeches.
For instance, Senators Joshua Dariye and Senator Goje asked about Bitcoin, while Senator Biodun Olujimi asked to ensure that it is not used by “bad people”.
He then added:
“We didn’t create Cryptocurrency and so we cannot kill it and cannot also refuse to ensure it works for us. These children are doing great business with it and they are getting result and Nigeria cannot immune itself from this sort of business”.
The Nigerian currency is called Naira (NGN) and until 2014 it was worth about 6 thousandths of a dollar. However over the next few years, its value dropped further, falling first below 5 thousandths in 2015, then to 3 thousandths in 2016, and below 3 thousandths in 2017.
During 2020, it further plummeted to 2.5 thousandths, effectively losing 58% of its value in five years.
Nigeria, which has more than 200 million inhabitants, is also by far one of the countries in the world with the most interest in Bitcoin among its citizens, and Senator Musa’s words explain why.
For example, on Google Trend, it ranks number one for the search ‘bitcoin’, ahead of the USA.
Evidently, more and more Nigerians prefer to keep their savings in BTC rather than in local currency, also because it is not difficult to buy BTC, for example through Paxful. Right now, for example, 1 BTC is worth over 22 million NGN, whereas only a year ago it was worth just over 3 million NGN. In other words, over the last 12 months, the value of bitcoin compared to the Nigerian Naira has increased by 633%.