According to new data, peer-to-peer (P2P) bitcoin trade volumes in Kenya and Ghana surged in Q1 of 2021, with the two countries now ranked second and third respectively. On the other hand, volumes in South Africa, which occupied second place in 2020, dropped marginally. Consequently, South Africa has now been relegated to the fourth position the data shows.
Contrasting Regulatory Regimes
Meanwhile, one report has attributed the surge in Kenya and Ghana’s P2P volumes to the two countries’ tacit endorsement of cryptocurrencies. For instance, the report points to the Central Bank of Ghana’s launch of “a regulatory sandbox that prioritized blockchain-based companies including cryptocurrency startups” as one factor that may have boosted the country’s volumes.
This is in contrast to the situation in South Africa where regulator warnings about cryptocurrency use and investment increased following the collapse of Mirror Trading International, the biggest scam bitcoin in 2020, according to Chainalysis. As explained in the report, crypto dealings in South Africa “have come under increased scrutiny, with tougher regulations including mandatory licenses and taxes triggering investor exits. The report also adds that “bitcoin trading in South Africa has effectively lost its autonomy and this has reduced its market appeal to investors.”
Nigeria P2P Volumes Surge After Central Bank Directive
In the meantime, the data shows that P2P volumes in Nigeria seem to have been boosted by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s directive against crypto entities that was issued on February 6. As the Tulip data shows, Nigeria’s P2P bitcoin traded volumes in the past 90 days surged to nearly $100 million. The figure, which is nearly two and half times more than that of second-placed Kenya, suggests more bitcoin users are now using P2P platforms.
Meanwhile, the data appears shows that P2P traded volumes in many other African countries surged after March 2020, when lockdown measures took hold. Since then, many countries on the continent have seen their P2P bitcoin traded volumes grow steadily.
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