Self-custody cryptocurrency purchases are becoming more accessible in Nigeria as major crypto wallet MetaMask expands direct on-ramps with local banks.
On March 21, MetaMask’s parent firm ConsenSys announced a new integration with crypto fintech MoonPay, enabling users in Nigeria to purchase crypto via instant bank transfers.
The new feature is available within the MetaMask mobile and Portfolio DApp, significantly simplifying the process of buying crypto without using credit or debit cards in Nigeria.
Before the partnership, MetaMask users in Nigeria had access to the MetaMask wallet, but the process of buying crypto was costly and time-consuming, MetaMask product manager Lorenzo Santos told Cointelegraph. He stated:
“While Moonpay had a card integration feature, about 90% of attempts to buy crypto with a credit or debit card were declined.”
With the new integration supporting local bank transfers, crypto purchases on MetaMask are now faster and cheaper, allowing users to access crypto without sending assets from a centralized exchange.
MoonPay chief product and strategy officer Zeeshan Feroz told Cointelegraph that the integration is estimated to reduce the decline rate for direct crypto purchases in Nigeria from 90% to 30%. He noted that customers of all banks in Nigeria would have access to the service through bank ransfers, which is a widely used payment method across Nigerian e-commerce businesses.
Despite the current issues with crypto on-ramps in Nigeria, the country has emerged as a major market for MetaMask, ranking third in mobile monthly active users, Santos said. “It is also among the top ten countries regarding visitors to metamask.io over the last month,” he added.
According to the Chainalysis 2022 Global Crypto Adoption Index, Nigeria is one of the world’s top 20 ranked countries in cryptocurrency adoption. Some reports suggest that 35% of the Nigerian population aged 18 to 60 owned or traded cryptocurrencies in 2022. That is despite the Central Bank of Nigeria banning banks from servicing crypto exchanges in February 2021.
In December 2022, local media reported that the Nigerian government was preparing to pass a law recognizing the usage of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to keep up to date with “global practices.”