It’s the last days of 2018, the world all over is witnessing a sharp plummet in the value of cryptocurrency. Bitcoin, the world’s most famous cryptocurrency is down by over 70%, crypto traders are gnashing their teeth and cryptocurrency nay-sayers are smirking with an “I told you so” look and who can blame them?. The valuation of the global cryptocurrency market capitalization had dropped from $500 billion dollars the previous year December to $135 billion and the price drops in cryptocurrencies? Brutal.
Meanwhile, Africa’s fastest growing cryptocurrency market, Nigeria, was not spared. Even with peer to peer transaction rising by almost 1,500 percent the previous year according to data from LocalBitcoins, trade volumes had seen a decline, ending the year at 1.110 billion naira from the 1.603 billion traded at the beginning of the year.
How did the market get here? Yes, the cryptocurrency market can be pretty volatile but the historical drop didn’t just happen overnight. From government attempted regulatory tactics, a lack of general education on cryptocurrency to misplaced fear of bitcoin overthrowing traditional monetary systems coupled with misleading, sometimes grossly exaggerated press releases of how bitcoin is the “new currency for cyber criminals and money launderers”, all these, are the little drops that created this monstrous, downhill water slide in the cryptocurrency market.
People seem to forget that cryptocurrency is an emerging financial system which is relatively very new when compared to traditional financial systems. They either can’t simply fully comprehend it or expect a perfectly formed system all at once. Disregarding the fact that growth and innovation takes time, especially with balancing out its assets and value. The Bear season, experienced in 2018 is a perfect example of the growth process that will help get rid of inorganic growth and correct the market and yes, it did.
In June 2019, the cryptocurrency capital market value saw an almost messianic rise by up to 282%. This rise resulted in giving huge gains to both new comers and old traders who practiced the good old “buy low, sell high” tactic. You see, cryptocurrency trading is a zero sum game and new investors and traders who had bought from traders who were in a hurry to sell off their tokens during the brutal bear season were the biggest gainers. This rise in the value is not some miraculous feat though. It was a result of a multitude of factors such as the approach of the bitcoin “halvening” and clearer government regulations to provide clarity for cryptocurrency to name a few.
Several new developments such as increased institutional investor interest, experienced VC-backed entrepreneurs working on block chain startups and pending ETF approval also enabled the cryptocurrency market to experience a shift to more positive trends and the market entered into a more positive bull season.
Although in Nigeria where the cryptocurrency market is still very young, 65% of Nigerians expressed familiarity with cryptocurrencies especially Bitcoin and majority of Nigerians expressed willingness to invest in cryptocurrencies despite the significant price volatility experienced in 2018. According to 42% of respondents, improved security and protection against hacking will make them feel more secure about investing and possible trading with cryptocurrency.
This is where escrow services like Remitano play a vital role in the Nigerian cryptocurrency market as they provide top notch security and ease of peer to peer crypto transactions. Especially since security and protection of crypto investments is a major pivoting factor to the willingness of the Nigerian masses to invest and trade in crypto currency.
In summary, 2019 was the year of recovery, increased usability and balance in the cryptocurrency market and Nigeria was not left behind. Already, they are cryptocurrency payment gateways that allow Nigerian ecommerce platforms that accept bitcoin payments. Safe, secure and easy access to crypto trading like Remitano’s simplex that allows users to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency with a credit card or debit card Bitcoin. By the end of 2019, the world’s leading cryptocurrency rose from $3400 per bitcoin to above $9,000, waxing stronger and is currently in the bull market as of today.