Nigeria’s naira float impacts its crypto market.

On June 14th, Nigeria allowed its national currency, the naira, to be traded freely by banks and other forex market actors. Nigeria is known for its growing adoption of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), and this new policy could have several implications for crypto traders. Foreign currency traders can now exchange at rates set by the market instead of those set by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). This move follows the president’s decision to implement a 10% crypto tax on capital gains and could be a game-changer for Nigeria’s crypto industry, either positively or negatively.

Cryptocurrency expert David Osawaru stated that fluctuations in the value of the naira against other currencies, including cryptocurrencies, may impact the profitability of crypto trades. A rapid drop in the value of the naira would have a negative impact on crypto traders, while the inverse would cause a spike in profitability. In the case of rapid naira devaluation, there’s the possibility of crypto traders experiencing higher transaction costs due to potential changes in exchange rates. Increased volatility could result in wider bid-ask spreads, making it more expensive to buy or sell cryptocurrencies using the naira.

Press Release: Operational Changes to the Foreign Exchange Market …

— Central Bank of Nigeria (@cenbank) June 14, 2023

Cryptocurrencies are typically traded on exchanges, and these exchanges rely on the liquidity of different fiat currencies, including the naira, to facilitate smooth trading. If the liquidity of the naira decreases, it becomes more challenging to match buyers and sellers at desired prices, leading to potential slippage and increased trading costs. Liquidity refers to the ease with which an asset can be bought or sold without significantly impacting its price. When the liquidity of a currency decreases, it means there is a reduction in the availability of buyers and sellers in the market, which can result in wider bid-ask spreads and increased price volatility.

Osawaru said that free-floating the naira could reduce arbitrage opportunities for cryptocurrencies by minimizing price discrepancies across different markets. If the naira’s exchange rate is allowed to adjust freely, it becomes less likely for significant price disparities to exist between the naira and cryptocurrencies across different trading platforms or exchanges. To mitigate any possible negative effects of this new policy on the crypto market and the economy, the Nigerian government could introduce cryptocurrency policies to foster a more liquid and efficient trading environment, encourage market-making activities, and ensure transparency.