Bitcoin premium hits 60% in Nigeria following ATM cash withdrawal limits
Bitcoin price in Nigeria skyrocketed as high as 60% to global markets amid central bank’s continued efforts to push citizens into digitized cash.
The leading crypto exchange of the country, NairaEX recorded 1 BTC trading at 17.8 million nairas, approximately $38,792 in USD, which is more than a 60% premium over the current market price of Bitcoin.
The impact comes forward as the Central Bank of Nigeria has continued imposing limits on ATM cash withdrawals amid an ongoing effort to accelerate its shift to a cashless economy. Citizens are only allowed to withdraw a maximum of 20,000 nairas, approximately $43.50 from ATMs, with a weekly limit of 100,000 nairas, accounting to roughly $217.
The announcement came just days before new naira banknotes went into circulation with the aim of curbing inflation and money laundering. The country’s central bank imposed a deadline of Jan. 24 for citizens to exchange old issued currency notes for the new currency.
The central bank, however, extended the deadline to Feb. 10,following complaints that there was insufficient time to meet the deadline.
Although this is not the first time Bitcoin trading with premium in Nigeria. In February 2021, BTC premium was as high as 36% following the central bank banning regulated financial institutions from serving cryptocurrency exchanges in the country.
Data from Google Trends shows that the recent interest in Bitcoin has seen Nigeria becoming the leading country for Bitcoin web searches.