Study: Sub-Saharan Africa's Bitcoin Transaction Volume Number One Globally, Data Indicates Shift Towards Stablecoins

Despite accounting for just 2.3% of global transaction volume, the latest data shows that crypto has penetrated key markets in Sub-Saharan Africa and “become an important part of many residents’ day-to-day lives.” With a regional volume of 9.3%, Sub-Saharan Africa’s BTC share outranks all regions including North America (9.0%) and Eastern Europe (8.2%).

Nigeria Epitomizes Sub-Saharan Africa’s Crypto Penetration

While the Sub-Saharan Africa region is reported to have accounted for 2.3% of global transaction volume, a closer look at the latest data shows that “crypto has penetrated key markets and become an important part of many residents’ day-to-day lives.” As the excerpt from Chainalysis’ upcoming Geography Report shows, no country from this region best exemplifies how crypto has become part of everyday life than Nigeria.

Study: Sub-Saharan Africa's Bitcoin Transaction Volume Number One Globally, Data Indicates Shift Towards Stablecoins

With transaction volumes of just under $60 billion between July 2022 and June 2023, Nigeria is Sub-Saharan Africa’s largest crypto market by a distance. For perspective, the region’s total volumes during the same period were $117.1 billion. The data shows that Nigeria accounted for nearly half of the region’s total transaction volume in that period.

South Africa, whose traded volumes surpassed the $20 billion mark during the same period, is home to the Sub-Saharan Africa region’s second-largest crypto market. Kenya, Mauritius and Ghana, which are ranked third, fourth, and fifth, respectively, complete the region’s top five.

Meanwhile, the Chainalysis data suggests that residents from the Sub-Saharan Africa region increasingly see BTC as an alternative store of value. With a regional volume share of 9.3%, Sub-Saharan Africa’s BTC share outranks all regions including North America (9.0%) and Eastern Europe (8.2%). Explaining why Sub-Saharan Africa is ranked first, Chainalysis said:

Many countries in the region have struggled with rising inflation and debt, making cryptocurrency an attractive means of storing value, preserving savings, and attaining greater financial freedom.

The blockchain intelligence firm singles out inflation-hit Ghana where residents reportedly have turned to BTC.

Study: Sub-Saharan Africa's Bitcoin Transaction Volume Number One Globally, Data Indicates Shift Towards Stablecoins

While BTC is still the number one crypto in the region, the latest data appears to point to a shift away from the leading crypto asset towards stablecoins. Moyo Sodipo, the co-founder of Nigeria-based cryptocurrency exchange Busha, said the drop in the price of BTC may explain why users from the region are gravitating towards stablecoins.

“Now that Bitcoin has lost a lot of its value, there is a desire for diversification between Bitcoin and stablecoins. However, market shifts aren’t dampening activity,” explained Sodipo.

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