The poll by British market research firm YouGov and New York City-based blockchain company ConsenSys surveyed more than 15,000 people in 15 countries. It found that 92 percent of respondents around the world are aware of cryptocurrencies.
Of the 15 countries surveyed, Nigeria took the No. 1 spot with 99 percent of respondents from the country being aware of crypto. Brazil and South Africa tied for the No. 2 spot with 98 percent, while three nations – Mexico, Argentina and the Philippines – tied for No. 3 with 96 percent. Vietnam ranked the lowest among the countries surveyed, with only 87 percent of respondents in the Southeast Asian nation familiar with cryptocurrencies.
Crypto experts from Nigeria spoke with Russia Today (RT) regarding the survey results, and also recounted their success stories with the digital blockchain. They debunked the misconception of the West African nation lacking technical prowess, emphasizing that Nigerians young and old have delved into the digital economy.
Gerald Chukwuemuka, a blockchain expert, noted that the National Blockchain Policy approved by the federal government in Abuja can benefit the Nigerian economy if properly implemented. According to him, Nigeria has been studying the successes of the United Arab Emirates in the crypto sector with the hope of replicating those domestically. (Related: 11 Countries have already adopted central bank digital currencies and 105 others are considering it.)
"The government actually has a huge role to play," said the blockchain expert. "If you understand the likes of the UAE, these guys are actually taxing crypto and Web3 companies, giving them good regulations and also a level playing ground for them to come in and establish their business."
Given the survey's results of 99 percent of Nigerians being aware of crypto, it has also become a tool that brought them success. In one instance, crypto enthusiast Adiele Great lost a freelance job due to difficulties receiving payments from outside the country. But thanks to blockchain technology, he can now "collect payments easily and instantly."
A BBC report from February 2021 also expounded on other digital currency pundits whose lives have changed for the better thanks to crypto. Tola Fadugbagbe worked minimum-wage jobs to survive after leaving his town 10 years ago for the capital Abuja.
His situation changed in 2016 when he entered the cryptocurrency sector, eventually becoming a full-time investor. From having to work odd jobs, Fadugbagbe told the BBC that at the time he has $200,000 in cryptocurrency.
"No Nigerian comes to cryptocurrency and wants to look back. It's a big opportunity," he remarked. Fadugbagbe continued: "I don't do shares and government bonds; those are scams. I trust crypto more."
Nena Nwachukwu, former regional manager for Nigeria at trading platform Paxful, said Nigerians see crypto as a way to get around foreign currency restrictions imposed by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
"Nigerians find it easier to use crypto as an investment tool," she remarked. "There are a lot of restrictions on what we can and cannot do with our foreign exchange."
According to Nwachukwu, awareness of Paxful grew in October 2020 during protests that called for the disbandment of the Nigeria Police Force's Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). Organizers of the demonstrations against the notorious unit found their accounts being frozen in retaliation.
This subsequently led to an increase in the use of digital currencies. Alongside this, she remarked that this resulted in a wave of new sign-ups and an increase in transactions.
Visit CryptoCult.news for more stories about crypto in Nigeria and other countries.
Watch this video about the Nigerian government forcing citizens to adopt the country's eNaira digital currency under the threat of starvation.
This video is from the Vigilent Citizen channel on Brighteon.com.