Bitcoin kicks off New Year in Nigeria by dropping to 8-week low
Bitcoin prices have dropped to 8-week low in the first week of trading in Nigeria. The prices of bitcoins dropped to N1.272 billion in the last week of December from a peak of N1.942 billion it saw in the second week of the same month. The last time the volumes went below N1.2 billion was in the last week of October 2017 according to Coin.dance.
The first day of 2018 also found the cryptocurrency sliding from a record $19,511 it reached on December, 18, to $13,624.56 as at 5 p.m. on Monday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It will be the first time in 3 years (since 2015) that bitcoin will begin the year on a low.
However, despite the fall, analysts tracking bitcoin who spoke to BusinessDay are confident that 2018 will be a memorable one for the virtual currency.
Ray Youssef, co-founder and chief executive officer of Paxful told BusinessDay that it would be a year where the cryptocurrency and other tokens become functional tools on a mass scale in the emerging world.
“As the currency wars rage on and wreck havoc on national economies by weakening their native currencies, people will turn to bitcoin as a safe and growing store of wealth – Africa, India and South America most of all and for unique reasons. Bitcoin will not be stagnant in their care and will flow as they sell it off to meet monthly expenses,” Youssef said.
The company, he noted, was already seeing increased activity in the area. Youssef also predicted that there would be increased use of the virtual currency by business owners to re-establish their import and export power, as well as use it to facilitate payments outside of their host countries.
“When all forms of money can be converted between the other instantly and transported anywhere, then we have true financial freedom and endless opportunities for rapid development. In places where only foreign aid used to dominate, now we have local aid coming to the rescue thanks to a decentralised ledger of value – the blockchain,” Youssef said.
He is also betting on Africa to shock the rest of the world with its leadership in blockchain adoption. Should that happen, the effect will be seen on the organic and meteoric rise in bitcoin price “that could take it to six figures by the end of 2018.”
“Price predictions means little compared to natural user-adoption and fluid real world application,” he said.
Naira Exchange (NairaEx), a local cryptocurrency platform told BusinessDay that 2018 holds many possibilities for bitcoin.
“Signalled by the bitcoin futures bought on the Chicago mercantile exchange, prices could recover slightly in the first month of 2018 to figures of $14,000 to $15,000.”
“NairaEx is also set to expand its bitcoin operations to pass more benefits directly to its users. Not only will the platform be gearing towards accommodating traders’ needs, even inexperienced bitcoin users will be able to crack the markets and make the profit using the tools developed by the company. Automated trading will become a feature in the upcoming year along with the addition of cryptocoins, example Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin. Traders will be able to execute trades on a number of markets within seconds to take advantage of the volatile price movements. Online payment integration and Perfect money support on the platform will also allow everyday users an increased range of payment options, no need to rely on bank accounts anymore. VIP discounts and giveaways are also set to begin,” the company said.
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