Nigerians are buying Bitcoins to help hedge against an uncertain future, following the outbreak of protests against police brutality that began some 2 weeks ago.
In that time period, the Naira price of Bitcoins has surged some 10.8 percent to N5.63 million per Bitcoin, compared to N5.08 million per Bitcoin 2 weeks ago, according to data from Quidax a Bitcoin trading exchange.
Nigeria came at top of the list of countries with the highest number of respondents that say they own or are using cryptocurrency, according to a recent report.
According to the study, 32 percent of surveyed Nigerians say they used or owned cryptocurrencies in 2020 while in Japan, which is last on the list, only 4 percent say they owned cryptos in 2020.
The survey, which was conducted by Statista, shows that countries with emerging economies like Vietnam (21%) and South Africa (17%) have more respondents who say they used or owned cryptos in 2020.
Spain (10%) is the only developed country where the percentage of respondents that own or used cryptocurrencies get to double-digit figures.
In the United States, the percentage of respondents that confirm owning or using crypto is only 7 percent.
The protests began after a video circulated showing a man being beaten, apparently by police officers of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, known as SARS.
Young protesters then marched in cities across Nigeria, under the banner #EndSARS. In response, the government announced it would ban the anti-robbery squad, which for several years human rights groups have blamed for widespread abuses, including torture and killings.
The demonstrators have not been satisfied with the disbandment of the SARS unit and are demanding an end to abuses and respect for human rights in all parts of the police force.
The purchase of Bitcoins is a fitting response as younger people were some of the earlier adopters of Bitcoins in the West African country and have also used the crypto-currency to evade police corruption and unauthorised searches.