A former Microsoft software engineer and co-founder of Buycoins Africa Tomiwa Lasebikan says some Nigerians expatriates are now using bitcoin to circumvent the country’s overvalued exchange rate when sending remittances.
According to Lasebikan, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s fixed exchange rate of $1:380 is robbing recipients 20-30% of their remittance value each time they retrieve funds. At the time of writing, the parallel exchange rate of one dollar to the Naira is 1:480, according to Abokifx.
Similarly, importers that are hamstrung by the country’s rigid foreign exchange regulations, are now resorting to bitcoin when making payments online or across borders. Speaking in an interview, Lasebikan says bitcoin has also given Nigerian residents an opportunity to pay for services or utilities that the CBN usually deems unnecessary. He says:
Another thing would be for people who want to have access to resources outside the country…You want to pay for Netflix, Apple Music. All of the things the government is aggressively clamping down on.