Adoption of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has increased by over 880 percent over the past year, despite the general market direction. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are gaining popularity as an alternative investment to traditional financial markets. Holders of cryptocurrencies have been pioneers in embracing new P2P payment methods across most of Africa, allowing them to bypass traditional payment systems like bank transfers and other digital possibilities.
1. Nigeria: 13 million
Triple-A claims that the number of bitcoin holders in Nigeria is higher than in any other African country. While the Central Bank of Nigeria has banned cryptocurrencies, more than 10 million people in the country nonetheless hold some. And when it comes to Google searches for topics like “Bitcoin” and “Crypto”.
2. Kenya: 4.5 million
Kenya ranks second with an estimated 4.5 million bitcoin owners. Kenya has the highest number of trades on P2P platforms among the top African countries and has the most cryptocurrency holdings. When searching for the term “cryptocurrency,” Kenya also appears in the top 10 countries worldwide.
3. South Africa: 4.2 million
Third on the list is South Africa, where more than 4.2 million individuals are crypto holders. Triple A found that 17% of South Africans use or own some type of cryptocurrency, mainly because the returns on investment offered by cryptocurrencies are far better than those offered by banks. Additionally, a disproportionate number of young men and men in their early twenties are involved in the country’s cryptocurrency sector. Over half of bitcoin investors are under the age of 30, and 60% of investors are men.
4. Egypt: 1.75 million
There has been a huge uptick in demand for bitcoin in Egypt, where more than 1.7 million people have invested more than half of their money in cryptocurrencies. Traders in Egypt’s cryptocurrency market are driving this high adoption rate because they see bitcoin as a way to diversify their revenue streams. The number of Egyptians who utilize cryptocurrencies is projected to climb as investors flee the country’s devalued fiat currency.
5. Ethiopia: 1.1 million
Even though there are over 1.1 million crypto holders in Ethiopia, the government has lately made news of its crackdown on cryptocurrency trading. Earlier this month, Ethiopia’s central bank published a statement calling Bitcoin and all other currencies “illegal” and prohibiting their usage in the nation. The government has adopted this stance for fear that its residents will use virtual currency for criminal activities like money laundering.
Africa’s Growing Crypto-gaming Community
63 million of the total 186 million users have paid for games, which is predicted to expand at the fastest rate globally as the continent embraces digital currencies. Additionally, with global crypto gaming estimated at 321 million US dollars in 2020, 80 percent of gamers with crypto accounts are willing to utilize digital currency for gaming purchases, with 67 percent eager for the opportunity to use cryptocurrency in gaming.
Nigeria has surpassed its African counterparts in cryptocurrency adoption with the launch of the e-Naira in 2021, Africa’s first central bank-backed digital currency. To simplify international payments with Mauritius, South Africa has entered the testing phase of its Dunbar project. In the future, the African country of Ghana may enact legislation for digital money; now, it is investigating the concept alongside Tunisia, Morocco, and a few other nations.
Where Africa is Now
The growth of the gaming sector is clearly heading in the right direction. The number of video gamers in Africa has more than doubled in the previous five years, with South Africa at the forefront of this trend.
Newzoo, a games analytics business, and Carry 1st, a South African gaming platform, commissioned a study in 2021 that found the number of gamers in Sub-Saharan Africa had increased to 186 million from 77 million in 2015.
40 percent of South Africa’s population plays video games, making up 24 million of the country’s total gamers. This is followed by 27 percent of Ghana’s population and 23 percent of Nigeria’s. At 22% and 13% of the population, respectively, Kenya and Ethiopia have the fourth and fifth largest gaming marketplaces on the African continent.