Nigeria is among the top ten countries regarding visitors to MetaMask’s website over the last month.
MetaMask is integrating with crypto fintech platform MoonPay to expand its offering in Nigeria.
According to MetaMask developer ConsenSys, Nigeria happens to be one of the major markets for the crypto wallet service globally, ranking third in active mobile users. The latest move to gain a stronger foothold in the country comes in response to the inadequacies in the local financial system, as an estimated 90% of credit/debit card attempts to purchase crypto in Nigeria are declined.
Expansion to Nigeria
With MoonPay integration, MetaMask users in the African country will now be able to use instant bank transfers to buy crypto directly in a much faster and cheaper way. This new feature is available on the MetaMask mobile app and the Portfolio Dapp.
MetaMask’s Senior Product Manager Lorenzo Santos said the aim is to reduce friction and bring down barriers by addressing the challenges faced while using fiat to the crypto on-ramp. Following the development, Zeeshan Feroz, Chief Product & Strategy Officer of MoonPay, also weighed in,
“Our partnership with MetaMask will enable us to provide Nigerian users with Bank Transfers, a widely used payment method across Nigerian e-commerce businesses. We hope this integration opens the doors for Nigerians to fund their self-custody wallet through a simplified user experience.”
In the coming month, MetaMask and MoonPay expect to roll out the feature in Kenya, Botswana, and South Africa as well.
Crypto Adoption in Nigeria
The existing regulations in Nigeria lack provisions allowing crypto users to transact with their local banks. The country’s banking regulator, the Central Bank of Nigeria, also prohibited banks from facilitating crypto transactions and closing all crypto-related accounts in 2021.
However, this has not deterred crypto adoption in the country. Chainalysis 2022 Global Crypto Adoption Index revealed that nearly 12.4 million people, which is 5.7% of Nigeria’s population, are estimated to own crypto assets, and the adoption rate is on a steady rise.
Backpeddling on its previous stance, the chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Capital Markets and Institutions of Nigeria unveiled a new bill that seeks to amend the existing “Investment and Securities Act 2007” by legalizing the usage of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies last December.
If the bill is enacted into law, Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission will recognize cryptocurrency and other digital funds as capital for investment.
More recently, Nigerian President-elect Bola Tinubu released a manifesto that, if implemented, would allow the use of blockchain technology and crypto in the country’s banking and finance sector. This is also expected to create up to 30 million jobs for its citizens.