A recent study conducted by Consensys, a blockchain and Web3 software company, has revealed that Nigeria is at the forefront of cryptocurrency awareness across all continents. According to the study, an astounding 99% of Nigerians have heard of cryptocurrencies, with 91% expressing their willingness to invest in this emerging asset class. The study surveyed 15,158 individuals from 15 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Argentina, France, India, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, the Philippines, and Nigeria. The data collected from April 26 to May 18, 2023, was carefully weighted by Consensys and the market research firm YouGov to ensure an accurate representation of the national populations.
The study found that the vast majority of Nigerians not only have awareness of cryptocurrencies but also possess a certain level of understanding about these digital assets. Approximately four out of five Nigerians have a grasp of cryptocurrencies and view them as a viable alternative to traditional finance. Among the respondents aged between 18 and 65, 58% believe that cryptocurrencies represent the future of money, while 48% are convinced that they are the future of digital ownership. Interestingly, 43% of Nigerians see cryptocurrencies as a means to participate in the global financial ecosystem, and 50% believe that the sector should be regulated to encourage participation.
A significant motivation behind the purchase of cryptocurrencies among Nigerians is portfolio diversification. Many individuals seek to safeguard their investments and mitigate risks associated with traditional financial systems. Furthermore, the instability of Nigeria’s local currency, the Nigerian naira, has prompted some citizens to explore cryptocurrencies as a more stable and reliable alternative. Respondents who have previously invested in cryptocurrencies and those who currently hold them revealed that bitcoin, ether, BNB, DOGE, and Tether USDT were the preferred assets.
While awareness of cryptocurrencies is high in Nigeria, there are still barriers preventing widespread adoption. The perception of a volatile market and the fear of scams were identified as the biggest hindrances, cited by 63% and 52% of respondents, respectively. Additionally, 42% of participants mentioned a lack of knowledge on how to get started as another obstacle. Overcoming these challenges and educating the public about the benefits and risks of cryptocurrencies will be crucial to accelerating adoption in Nigeria.
Despite their high familiarity with cryptocurrencies, the study revealed a relatively low awareness and understanding of Web3 technologies among Nigerians. Only 21% of respondents claimed to be very familiar with the concept of Web3. However, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and the metaverse were recognized as the most familiar concepts within the Nigerian population. This lack of Web3 awareness is not unique to Nigeria; globally, only 8% of survey participants consider themselves very familiar with the idea, despite 92% having awareness of cryptocurrencies. Consensys attributes this disparity to a disconnect between public perceptions of Web3 and its potential solutions for digital ownership, privacy, and identity.
Nigeria has emerged as a leading country in cryptocurrency awareness, with a vast majority of its population having heard of cryptocurrencies and expressing a willingness to invest. However, there is a need to bridge the gap in Web3 understanding to fully leverage the potential of blockchain technologies. By addressing the barriers to entry and promoting education and awareness initiatives, Nigeria can position itself as a frontrunner in the crypto and Web3 revolution.