Luno, a global cryptocurrency platform, has announced the findings of a new global survey which revealed that nearly 3 out of 5 Nigerians are ready to adopt a global digital currency, reflecting the country’s growing interest in cryptocurrencies since the start of the global pandemic. Nigerians also rank higher than the global average of 37%t for openness to digital currency adoption.
The survey, which included 15,000 respondents from South Africa, UK, France, Italy, Indonesia, Malaysia and Nigeria, was first conducted in 2019 and then repeated in 2020. It also forms the basis of Luno’s “Trust and Uncertainty in 2020” report which explores how the attitude towards governments, money and the decision making by central banks have changed since last year.
According to the survey, 54% of Africans think a single global currency would make their financial system better, compared to 41% for Asia and 35% for Europe. Looking at the responses in total, across all the countries in the survey, respondents expressed a more negative sentiment on the development of their local currency than last year. 40% believe their local currency will decrease in value over the next year, while 31% think it will stay the same and only 29% see an increase going forward. Hence, the majority are anticipating a decrease in their local currency which is leading many to explore alternatives.
Owen Odia, Luno’s Country Manager for Nigeria, said “This year, we’re seeing a level of uncertainty that hasn’t been seen since the 2007-8 global recession and with this, there’s been a wave of Nigerians making their first steps to learn about cryptocurrencies. The growing interest in cryptocurrencies represents a new openness to look beyond the traditional ways of managing and getting the most out of your money, and exploring other useful opportunities.”
“People have had more time to research the benefits of cryptocurrencies and how they present a viable solution to many of Nigeria’s challenges around high inflation, currency volatility and a limited banking infrastructure. With ongoing inflation and other fiscal challenges, we anticipate that more Nigerians will continue to explore different ways of getting the most value from their money.”
The report also revealed that 52% of Nigerians feel their local economy is performing poorly compared to the global average of 36%. Confidence in the naira is also quickly diminishing with 44% of Nigerians believing their currency will decrease over the next 12 months – almost doubling from the report’s 2019 figures of 23%.
However, in the midst of all the financial chaos, bitcoin has emerged as an attractive alternative to fiat money – for its deflationary properties and it’s startling performance over the last year (up 145%). Increasingly institutional investors, traditional finance players and companies are adding Bitcoin to their balance sheets.
Marius Reitz, General Manager for Africa at Luno, said: “There’s a fresh impetus to educate ourselves as our current financial system is looking increasingly ill-equipped to overcome the challenges.“With lowering interest rates, you don’t want to be in a situation where you don’t earn any interest on your money and lose purchasing power for every year that goes by.”
“Therefore, at Luno we’ve launched a savings wallet allowing customers to earn up to 4% interest per year on their bitcoin. We encourage our customers to learn as much as possible about investing and consider how they can maximise their savings.”