As Bitcoin halving draw nears, Africa is seeing a surge in P2P bitcoin trading, despite the ongoing situation in the continent.
Unlike the last two previous Bitcoin block’s halving that happened in 2012 and 2016 respectively, the 2020 Bitcoin halving is happening in a time of a global pandemic.
The current COVID-19 pandemic has led to a massive fall in the world economies, fiat currencies, etc. Similar, to the current happening, bitcoin’s invention was catalysed by a global financial crisis that took place in 2008. In the bitcoin world, many believed Bitcoin was invented for a time like this, a viable alternative to centralise currency.
Initially, the deadly virus – COVID-19 – griping the world led to a quick fall in the crypto market, as the price of top cryptocurrencies like bitcoin plunged deep. However, the narrative changed. Bitcoin’s price has almost recovered from the massive sell and looks unstoppable.
Interest in Bitcoin surge in Africa
Interestingly, Bitcoin trading in Africa is experiencing an upswing. Recent data from a crypto analytics website, Useful Tulips shows P2P trading has reached an all-time high in regions like Sub-Saharan Africa and Central Africa.
The data aggregated from Bitcoin P2P marketplace, LocalBitcoins and PaxFul further reveals countries like Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, amongst other in the continent witnessed a massive surge in trading volume.
In a Twitter thread, the founder of Useful Tulips, Matt Ahlborg, state the rise in demand maybe related to interest in the upcoming Bitcoin halving and the corresponding pressure from the collapse in oil price and the national currencies in the continent.
[1/5] Holy Smokes! Sub-Saharan Africa had its first 10M voume week ever on P2P exchanges, stomping the weekly record set in Dec 2017! The volume is likely a bedrock of utility use with a substantial bump of speculation related to the halvening: pic.twitter.com/CTIAoFbSRf— Matt Ahlborg [UsefulTulips.org] (@MattAhlborg) May 5, 2020
Also, data from the last four weeks on Google Trends, shows other African countries like Namibia, Benin, and Cameroon ranks among the top five countries searching for Bitcoin and related terms.
In another tweet, PaxFul CEO, Ray Youssef, also confirms the upsurge in volume, as the P2P bitcoin exchange saw and record-breaking sign up from Ghana and Nigeria.
Another BlockBuster week on @Paxful. Trade volume up over 20%+ and record breaking new user signups! Ghana— Ray Youssef (@raypaxful) May 5, 2020
Nigeria and Pakistan are leading the way! #bitcoin recent upswing will soon have another wave based on real human demand! #p2pfinance
In addition, a recent report from World Bank shows economic growth Sub-Saharan Africa, has been greatly affected by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus and as a result, the region may fall into recession for the first time in 25 years.
Amidst all of this, there’s no doubt, the derailing economic situation of Africa, due to the global pandemic, has made bitcoin an attractive investment and viable alternative for the people in the continent.