As central banks on the African continent fight to keep cryptocurrencies from going mainstream, many more migrant workers are increasingly turning to money-sending platforms that use cryptocurrencies when moving funds across borders.
More Than Just an Investment
Thus in addition to becoming a “hot investment for hedge funders and corporate moguls,” crypto-assets like bitcoin are now seen as “a cost-effective way to transfer money throughout the developing world.” Also adding to the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies, are lockdown measures imposed in many countries starting in March 2020.
In a bid to halt the spread of Covid-19, governments around the world imposed restrictions on human movement and this, in turn, made the normally reliable money transfer channels less accessible. With movement now heavily curtailed, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies naturally emerged as the next secure and cost-effective alternative means of transferring money across borders.
As various studies have shown, cryptocurrency use surged after March 2020. Since then, some central banks have been trying to check this growing popularity. To illustrate, before the Nigerian Central Bank (CBN) issued an order that barred banks from servicing crypto customers, remittances into that country via cryptocurrencies had been surging. On the other hand, official data shows that remittances via normal channels had plunged to record lows.
According to some Nigerian-based crypto enthusiasts, it is this plunge (in remittances) that prodded the CBN into taking action against the crypto industry. Similarly, the CBN’s recently announced incentive scheme for Nigerians receiving remittances via official channels represents another attempt to …
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