The #EndSARS movement has been the top conversation in Nigeria for over the last two weeks. The movement which aims to end police brutality kicked off in different parts of the country on the 4th of October and picked up steam on the 8th of October 2020.
This could easily have been another protest but things took on a different turn when support groups rallied around the protests to provide health, legal aid, and other services to ensure the safety and well-being of protesters.
One of the support groups that has played a major role in the movement has been the Feminist Coalition, who started raising funds for the protest on the 9th of October 2020.
A couple of days into the Feminist Coalition, experienced a disruption in their fundraising as they could not receive donations. Their bank accounts were restricted and they had funds locked up in their bank accounts and could not access it.
Without any visible way out, they opened up a crypto wallet and called for donations in Bitcoin. This shift got more people interested in Bitcoin with people googling where and how they can buy Bitcoin. For a number of these searches on the indigenous cryptocurrency exchanges like Quidax appeared.
FIAT VERSUS CRYPTO
Fiat money is money that we are all used to e.g. Naira, Dollars, basically, government-issued currencies. According to The Telegraph UK, “cryptocurrency is a form of digital money that is designed to be secure and, in many cases, anonymous. It is a currency associated with the internet that uses cryptography, the process of converting legible information into an almost uncrackable code, to track purchases and transfers.”
The adoption of cryptocurrencies to the donation options has opened up a significant impact on the protests, cryptocurrencies, and the world of Money in Africa. At the very least, it has afforded a larger platform to demonstrate the relevance of cryptocurrencies as money with more flexibility and advantages that meet all the needs fiat currencies currently serve (and more).
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR BUSINESS IN AFRICA?
Over the years, cryptocurrency has seen significant growth in adoption. Events in the year 2020 have remarkably accelerated the need for cryptocurrencies in everyday life. Earlier in the year when the Naira lost value to the U.S. dollars, businesses were haemorrhaging money and looking for ways to hedge the loss of value on the Naira. A few smart businessmen bought into stable coins like USDT to preserve their money’s value while others lost out.
According to the 2019/2020 report from blockchain analysis firm, Chainalysis, Nigeria ranks 8th in terms of cryptocurrency adoption the world. The top use of cryptocurrencies being a peer to peer payments. As more people are rapidly adapting to the use of cryptocurrencies for day to day transactions, we foresee an increased use for cryptocurrencies for international payments.