Blockchain is a globally distributed ledger and public data management system that consists of data blocks sequentially linked to each other into a chain.
Infographic courtesy of BSV Academy
The protracted adventure of Bitcoin and its numerous challengers and copycats in the $2.22 trillion worldwide cryptocurrency market appears to have no end in sight. Despite this, only a small percentage of Americans have any functional or direct experience with it. In 2020, just in the USA only a small number of people have knowledge about cryptocurrency. However, it is catching on far faster all over the world.
Statista aggregated 55 separate research reports from the Statista Global Consumer Survey to find the nations where Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are most popular, providing some of the most comprehensive statistics on the issue. The findings demonstrate a clear pattern. Africans, Asians, and South Americans are far more likely than Europeans, North Americans, and Australians to own or utilize bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, Cardano, TPR Coins, etc.
The king of cryptocurrencies is Africa’s greatest economy. In Nigeria, nearly one-third of respondents â€” 32 percent â€” said they had used or owned any form of cryptocurrency in 2020. In comparison, only 6% of Americans said the same thing.
Nigeria’s particular culture and circumstances, as per Bitcoin.com, are propelling the movement. Poverty, which affects 87 million of Nigeria’s 200 million people, is a significant factor, and crypto transactions are inexpensive. Another explanation for the development is that Nigerians are far more likely to use their phones to make payments and send money. Finally, in Nigeria, double-digit inflation is the norm rather than the exception, and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, which are limited in number, act as a hedge against inflation.
Almost a third of Nigerians agreed that this was true of them. According to Bitcoin.com, the hefty expense of transporting money across borders in the traditional manner has prompted many people to turn to local bitcoin exchanges that cater to overseas workers and their families. Businesses in Nigeria have recently begun to include crypto plugins in their phone payment options, providing yet another method for Nigerians to use bitcoin in their daily lives.
Abolaji Odunjo, a tiny businessman selling mobile phones in a bustling Lagos street market, made a significant improvement to his business by beginning to pay his suppliers with bitcoin.
Odunjo gets his phones and accessories from China and the UAE. For speed and convenience, he added, his Chinese vendors requested payment in cryptocurrency.
He has increased his profits as a result of the change, as he no longer has to buy dollars in Nigerian naira or pay money-transfer costs. It’s also an illustration of how bitcoin, the world’s first and largest cryptocurrency, is finding practical applications in Africa that it hasn’t found elsewhere.
As per statistics given by roughly 20 bitcoin users and five cryptocurrency exchanges, Odunjo is one of many persons at the core of a stealthy bitcoin explosion in Africa.
According to data from U.S. blockchain research firm Chainalysis, monthly cryptocurrency transfers to and from Africa of less than $10,000, which are often conducted by individuals and small enterprises, increased by more than 55 percent in a year.
The number of monthly transfers increased by about half, to 600,700, according to Chainalysis, which claims the study is the most comprehensive ever to map out global crypto use. Nigeria, the continent’s largest economy, as well as South Africa and Kenya, saw a lot of action.
This is a significant shift for bitcoin, which, despite its origins as a payment instrument over a decade ago, has primarily been utilized for financial speculators’ speculation rather than commerce.
Some factors are working behind this boom. Young, tech-savvy people; difficulties buying USD from local currencies; and the complicated and costly money transfer process.
Bitcoin users in five nations, ranging from Nigeria to Botswana, said that cryptocurrency was assisting them in becoming more flexible and profitable in their enterprises, as well as allowing those working in Europe and North America to keep more of the money they send home.
Many nations do not regulate bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, and their legal status is unknown, so there is no safety net and limited redress if you lose money.
Many people rely on unofficial brokers to change their native currency to and from bitcoin. Prices fluctuate, and buying and selling is a technological procedure that necessitates technical understanding.
In June, minor bitcoin transfers in Nigeria totaled about $56 million, up nearly 50% from the previous year. The number of transactions increased by more than 55% to 120,000.
However, determining how cryptocurrencies are used in specific places is difficult. Digital coins provide a high level of anonymity, and while the value of transactions may be monitored on the blockchain, a user’s identity or location cannot.
Chainalysis, which tracks crypto movements for financial institutions and law enforcement in the United States, collected the information by analyzing web traffic and trade trends, despite the fact that virtual private networks can disguise locations. It distinguished between transactions of less than $10,000 and higher quantities commonly used by professional dealers.
Nigeria’s oil-dependent economy has been battered by low petroleum prices and COVID-19, prompting the central bank to weaken the naira twice this year. As a result, Odunjo and other importers are having to spend more to buy dollars that are becoming increasingly scarce.
Because of the naira’s depreciation, many Nigerians are turning to bitcoin as a way to buy items from other countries without having to acquire dollars.
Yellow Card, which has offices in five countries, projected a five-fold rise in monthly crypto volumes in 2020, from $5 million in August to $25 million in August. According to the research, workers utilizing bitcoin for remittances was a key issue.
Bitcoin fees vary based on the exchange or broker, but for shipping 100 pounds, they would normally be around 2%-2.5 percent.
Exchanges and over-the-counter (OTC) brokers, on the other hand, are both vulnerable to hackers and scams.
And, while bitcoin is useful for transfers, it isn’t widely accepted on the ground; for example, stores and landlords rarely accept it. This means that monies sent by workers must be converted back to regular currency by friends or family, frequently through a broker at their end, posing added risk.
However, the majority of bitcoin users claimed that many OTC brokers, who rely on word-of-mouth evaluations, operated reliably in an increasingly competitive industry and were hesitant to jeopardize their reputations.
And for an increasing number of people, the benefits exceed the risks.
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