Nigeria welcomes first Bitcoin ATM

Blockstale BTM, a new Bitcoin startup in Nigeria, has installed Bitcoin Automated Teller Machine in the country. The ATM, which the first in Nigeria, was installed at a Lounge in Lagos

Bitcoin Automated Teller Machines (Bitcoin ATMs) have increased in popularity around the globe because of the easier options they provide to consumers in buying or selling of bitcoin.

Blockstale BTM, the company that installed the ATM at Dazey Lounge and Bar in Lagos, is planning to expand more with over 30 ATMs terminals across Nigeria.

Though Nigeria is home to the largest trading volume of cryptocurrencies in Africa, it is the eighth country to host a Bitcoin ATM in the continent.

“Despite all the legal uncertainties about cryptocurrencies in Nigeria, Nigerians happen to be the highest crypto traders in Africa,” said Blockstale’s chief executive and founder, Daniel Adekunle.

According to CoinATMRadar, South Africa is home to seven crypto ATMs, Ghana has two, while Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Djibouti and Botswana each have a single terminal.

In addition, Nigeria has Africa’s largest population and economy, so its first Bitcoin ATM may be a signal for broader adoption across the continent. Blockstale’s ATM terminal is the second Bitcoin ATM in West Africa.

Recent weeks have seen about 220 Bitcoins or $1.38 million worth of peer-to-peer (P2P) trade between bitcoin and Nigeria’s currency on LocalBitcoins.

However, the number of Nigerians on LocalBitcoins has dropped by about 50% since the peer to peer platform strengthened its know your customer requirements around September 2019.

Nigeria also presently tops Google searches for ‘Bitcoin’, driving nearly twice the traffic as the second-ranked country, Austria, according to Google Trends.

Three of the top five ranked countries for ‘Bitcoin’ searches are African countries with South Africa and Ghana being ranked third and fifth respectively.

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