Nigeria is one of the most intriguing locations for bitcoin enthusiasts. Locals here are extremely interested in bitcoin, despite governmental and central bank statements declaring that cryptocurrency in Nigeria is not legal. In fact, Nigerians make more Google searches related to Bitcoin than any other country in the world.
Another positive sign is that Twitter boss Jack Dorsey is also interested in Nigeria and recently visited the country to meet with fintech entrepreneurs – and will return in 2020. Moreover, it is estimated that bitcoin usage in Nigeria will continue because the best online bitcoin wallet and exchange providers are now calling Nigeria home, the most prestigious one in Nigeria being Luno.
Nigeria is not alone in having a central bank or government that opposes the use of crypto between its citizens. Kenya has also been wary of crypto and has made similar statements to try and put people off using it. But again, the evidencesuggests that people remain resilient in using it even in hostile circumstances – because of its benefits.
The main reason for central banks to be against crypto is to protect their citizens from bitcoin scams. The bitcoin world is largely unregulated and can be a hotbed for hackers to try and steal bitcoin from unsuspecting crypto enthusiasts.
That doesn’t mean owning bitcoin is unsafe; it just means that anyone wanting to get involved should keep their wits about them and know how to stay safe and beat the bitcoin scams.
Nigerians and Africans have become a target for bitcoin scammers, most notably the Mavrodi Mundial Moneybox scam (MMM) headed by a Russian criminal. This scam has been in Africa for a long time and aims to pool bitcoin together form multiple holders with the promise of lucrative returns. Here are some ways that Nigerians stay clear of these types of scams.
- Education and Learning from Mistakes
One of the best ways that Nigerians are avoiding scams is by storytelling. They hear stories of friends or otherwise of their bitcoin being stolen and how they got stolen. Because there is no central authority offering education, many Nigerians rely on hearing these stories or going online to research how they can stay safe and avoid becoming a scammer’s next victim.
2. Avoiding Bitcoin Lotteries
One scam that most Nigerians know to avoid is Bitcoin lotteries. There have been many attempts to scam local Africans out of their bitcoin by gambling it at fake bitcoin casino sites and more common, a fake bitcoin lottery.
Even those lotteries endorsed by VIP names cannot be trusted, as South Africans discovered when a fake lottery was made and endorsed by the South African Cricket organisation – their twitter account had also been hacked to do this.
3. Choosing Reliable Products
The final way that Nigerians stay safe is to use products and services they know and trust. With Nigerian interest booming, more crypto companies are offering products in their region, just like the aforementioned Luno.
If you are in Africa or anywhere else in the world for that matter, always stay safe when accessing or using your wallet!