MetaMask is partnering with MoonPay to expand its services in Nigeria, one of its largest markets worldwide. The country ranks third in active mobile users of the crypto wallet service. The move aims to combat the inadequacies of the local financial system, including the rejection of an estimated 90% of credit/debit card attempts to buy crypto.
Expansion to Nigeria
MoonPay integration will provide MetaMask users in Nigeria with instant bank transfers to buy crypto directly, making the process faster and cheaper. The new feature is available on the MetaMask mobile app and the Portfolio Dapp. Lorenzo Santos, MetaMask’s Senior Product Manager, hopes to reduce friction and bring down barriers using fiat to the crypto on-ramp. The integration is expected to reach Kenya, Botswana, and South Africa in the coming month.
“Our partnership with MetaMask will enable us to provide Nigerian users with Bank Transfers, a widely used payment method across Nigerian e-commerce businesses. We hope this integration opens the doors for Nigerians to fund their self-custody wallet through a simplified user experience.” – Zeeshan Feroz, Chief Product & Strategy Officer of MoonPay
Crypto Adoption in Nigeria
Nigeria’s existing regulations are inadequate for crypto users to transact with local banks. However, crypto adoption in the country continues to grow despite its banking regulator, the Central Bank of Nigeria, prohibiting banks from facilitating crypto transactions and closing all crypto-related accounts in 2021. Chainalysis 2022 Global Crypto Adoption Index revealed that nearly 12.4 million people in Nigeria, 5.7% of its population, are estimated to own crypto assets. The adoption rate is steady and is expected to rise.
A new bill seeks to amend the existing “Investment and Securities Act 2007” by legalizing the usage of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in Nigeria. Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission would then recognize cryptocurrency and other digital funds as capital for investment if the bill is enacted into law. The Nigerian President-elect Bola Tinubu has also released a manifesto that would allow the use of blockchain technology and crypto in the country’s banking and finance sector if implemented. It is expected to create up to 30 million jobs for Nigerian citizens.