According to the announcement, the new partnership will allow MetaMask users in Nigeria to purchase crypto using instant bank transfers directly from the MetaMask mobile app and Portfolio dApp. The MoonPay integration will significantly simplify the process of buying crypto in the African country, considering that attempted purchases using credit and debit cards had been declined 90% of the time in Nigeria. MetaMask’s senior product manager, Lorenzo Santos, said in a statement:
“This is an essential next step in a critical market that has embraced crypto and web3 but faces serious challenges when using fiat to crypto on-ramp. We are reducing friction and bringing down barriers to keep supporting Nigerians as they onboard into web3.”
ConsenSys also noted that it was committed to providing a better crypto on-ramp experience for its users in Africa, and with that in mind will be expanding the rollout of the new MetaMask feature to Kenya, Botswana, and South Africa in the coming month.
Although Nigeria is a center of significant crypto transaction volume — ranking third in MetaMask’s mobile monthly active users — its citizens have trouble purchasing crypto due to a ban by the country’s central bank, which in February 2021 prohibited commercial banks from servicing crypto exchanges. Despite this ban, Nigeria was ranked in the top 20 countries in the Chainalysis 2022 Global Crypto Adoption Index.
Late last year, local media reported that the Nigerian government had proposed a bill, that if passed, would recognize the usage of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as capital investment. A government official noted at the time that this law was needed for Nigeria to keep up to date with “global practices”, and that the ban on digital assets was largely ineffective as Nigerian crypto traders did not even use local accounts.