The ability of Bitcoin to resist inflation, its characteristic independence towards government legislation among other several qualities makes it an automatic safe haven for embattled economies.
On Monday, Feb. 6, 2017, youths across different cities of Nigeria took to the streets to protest against the leadership of the nation. One of the major reasons for the nationwide protest is the high level of inflation of its national currency.
Nigerians are revolting against government
At the time of writing, the exchange rate of the Nigerian Naira to the US dollar in the parallel market is about NGN 500 to $1. For an import-dependent country, this automatically gives rise to increased hardship as the price of basic goods and commodities have skyrocketed.
A typical example being a 50kg bag of rice which used to sell for NGN 9,000 now selling for over NGN 22,000.
Several reasons have been blamed for the existing hardship in the country, top on the list being the slump in the price of crude oil, which is the primary export commodity of Nigeria. Some experts insist that beyond the price of crude oil, that the economic policies of the present leadership is faulty.
This is further emphasized by the current slump of the economy into recession, with no time in sight when the country may get out of it, neither does there appear to be a robust plan.
The Venezuelan example
Compared with the Venezuelan situation, both countries are plagued with similar circumstances, with crude oil being the major source of international revenue for both Nigeria and Venezuela. However, the Venezuelan situation is more critical, probably because its slump has lasted longer.
Venezuela currently stands as one of the countries where Bitcoin has been embraced to a very large extent. The reasons for this may not be far-fetched. With an inflation rate which stands as the highest in the world, technically both the government and the people can be said to have become arm-twisted into seeking a safe haven.
A curve that is developing in Nigeria points in the same direction as what is happening in Venezuela, maybe to a lesser extent, though.
A familiar trend is developing
Usage of Bitcoin has surged in Nigeria, where Google search interest in Bitcoin is definitely the highest, as well. The development of the Bitcoin technology in Nigeria has followed the regular pattern of previous innovations.
First, it began as a whisper, very few individuals had an idea of the technology and were either ignored or ridiculed at every given opportunity. Then came the second phase, when the crowd rushed into the arena despite having little or no knowledge of the concept involved.
With so many unpleasant fallouts from the second phase, as a lot of people incurred losses by investing into the wrong ventures out of ignorance, the third phase which involves government intervention has evolved. If the pointers are as correct as they seem then the world should expect a Bitcoin revolution out of the most populous black nation in the world.
Nigeria is known for its tradition of extremism in whatever venture that is embraced by her people, this is why the searchlight of the tech world should focus on the sub-Saharan nation. With the value restoration for the nation’s currency not presenting a bright outlook yet, citizens do not want to be taken unawares anymore.
The focus is strong, and yes the focus is on Bitcoin.