Many people had told Samuel-Biyi that his venture was too risky. However, as banks and other payment companies were becoming more and more tedious, he saw no other alternative. Cryptocurrency was the solution that country had been looking for. So, SureRemit developed a virtual coin that will be used to buy vouchers that can be used to pay bills and purchase goods in eight countries in the Middle East and Africa. When it held its ICO or initial coin offering, it sold about $7 million. Leading cryptocurrency players also accepted SureRemit’s tokens.
There are already more than $1 billion invested in Bitcoin infrastructures in Nigeria. From startups to apps, there seems to be no stopping the cryptocurrency growth in the country. While one can’t still distinguish who the main players in the industry will be, Olaoluwa Samuel-Biyi hopes he’ll be one of them. Samuel-Biyi is a 27-year-old entrepreneur who has established the global remittance company, SureRemit.
Bitcoin Liberating Nigerians Sidelined by Global Financial Systems
With the world accepting SureRemit’s cryptocurrency, opportunities to make international financial transactions have been opened to Nigerians.
It remains unknown whether cryptocurrency is a bad gamble or not. However, one thing is for sure, it’s the curve that Nigerians can use to better their personal financial and national economic status.
NIgeria’s Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma, has assured that the country’s economy will better this year. This has been affirmed by the World Bank who made a 2.5% economic growth forecast for Nigeria. The country had gained benefits from its improved investments, commodity prices, and trade as it finally emerged from recession in the last quarter of 2017. Though not directly, Bitcoin might have contributed to Nigeria’s enthusiasm for making and grabbing investment opportunities.
Nigeria’s Unfazed by Bitcoin’s Declining Value
Even after Bitcoin suffers a steep plunge in the recent week, it remains popular in the country as it continues to make business transactions easier.
The biggest economy in West Africa is not considered as the third largest Bitcoin holder based on their gross domestic percentage (GDP). They are right behind Russia and New Zealand.
The demand for cryptocurrency use can be accounted on two things– the need for a new form of remittance and the depreciation of naira. Compared to Western Union’s huge fees and lengthy delivery time, Bitcoin is faster and cheaper. Naira is also at 350 against the US dollar, making cryptocurrency more attractive to Nigerians.
Government Economic Policies Aiding Bitcoin Growth
Before Bitcoin’s price surged last December, the Nigerian Government had been open to the cryptocurrency. The freedom it gives is unparalleled as traditional foreign exchange options remain limited or banned.
Godwin Emefiele, Nigeria’s central bank governor, still warns about the gamble of investing in bitcoins. Heading the warning, the Senate is currently investigating the viability of the cryptocurrency. However, it has not made any impact on the trading of the cryptocurrency itself. Muyiwa Oni, a Stanbic IBTC Holding analyst in Lagos, still believes that the technology can go beyond traditional currency to improve cost efficiency in the country.