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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Crypto Interest in Africa Still Nascent

4.1
| by
Lim Yu Qian
-

Which African Countries are Most Interested in Crypto?

Nigeria has by far the highest level of crypto interest in Africa, in 2023 so far. It represents 66.8% of crypto interest in the continent year to date (YTD), which is almost 8 times of the next most interested African country. 

Nigeria was previously ranked as the most crypto-curious country in the world, alongside Kenya. The West African country has frequently appeared in other global top rankings too, with strong interest in specific areas of crypto including meme coins, web3 gaming, AI crypto and even Proof of Reserves.

As with other countries in Africa, Nigeria’s crypto interest and adoption is largely driven by poor traditional finance infrastructure as well as economic challenges, including high inflation and currency depreciation.

In total, the top 15 African countries represent a majority 97.5% of crypto interest in the continent this year.

African Countries with Moderate Crypto Interest

South Africa, Morocco, Ghana, Egypt and Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire) contribute to Africa’s crypto interest to a smaller extent, in total accounting for 23.8% of the continent’s interest in crypto YTD. They currently rank from the second to sixth among African countries most interested in crypto this year.

Some of these African countries have appeared in global top rankings as well, albeit usually ranked below Nigeria: Earlier this year, Morocco was one of the top 10 countries leading meme coins’ return and South Africa was #11 for interest in Proof of Reserves. Egypt was also previously identified as #9 among countries most impacted by FTX’s collapse last year.

African Countries with the Least Crypto Interest

The remaining 48 African countries have relatively the least amount of crypto interest across the continent, with less than a 2.0% share each YTD. Specifically, only 41 out of the 54 African countries have recorded any interest in crypto this year, while 13 countries currently have no share at all in crypto interest across Africa.

Among the top 15 African countries most interested in crypto, those ranked from seventh to fifteenth only account for a combined 6.9% share of crypto interest. The 9 countries are Uganda, Angola, Algeria, Tunisia, Kenya, Namibia, Mauritius, Botswana and Seychelles, which each represent between 0.4% to 1.6% of crypto interest in Africa.

Despite its small share of crypto interest in Africa, the business-friendly tax haven of Seychelles plays an outsized role in the crypto industry. 6 of the top 30 centralized crypto exchanges are incorporated in Seychelles, which is the highest number in a single country.

Overall, Africa’s crypto interest is concentrated in just a few of the 54 countries on the continent. This highlights the uneven interest in crypto across Africa right now, but might also reflect characteristics specific to Africa’s crypto community. For example, African investors might check crypto prices less frequently than in other geographies.

Which African Regions have the Most Crypto Interest?

West Africa accounts for the most crypto interest in the continent at 74.7%, followed by Northern Africa (10.0%) and Southern Africa (9.6%). East Africa (3.8%) and Central Africa (1.9%) lag behind as the African regions with the least share of crypto interest.

Among the top 15 African countries most interested in crypto, the regions of Northern Africa and East Africa have the most representatives of 4 each. Southern Africa and West Africa countries make up another 3 each, and only 1 in the top 15 rankings is a Central Africa country.

In other words, 4 out of 6 Northern Africa countries and 4 out of 18 East Africa countries are in the top 15 rankings for the continent. Meanwhile, 3 out of 5 Southern Africa countries, 3 out of 16 West Africa countries and 1 out of 9 Central Africa countries are also in the top 15 rankings.

Which Crypto are African Countries Watching in 2023?

Meme coins, DeFi tokens and blockchain networks are the most popular crypto in Africa so far this year. These three narratives represent 13 out of Africa’s top 17 crypto, consisting of 7 meme coins, 4 blockchain networks’ native currencies and 3 DeFi-related tokens.

Meme coins appear to have captured more of the crypto interest in Africa, as compared to crypto interest in Southeast Asia. Unlike the popularity of Pepe (PEPE) in Southeast Asia, Africa investors have been paying attention to a mix of meme coins. The meme coins range from pioneers Dogecoin (DOGE) and Shiba Inu (SHIB), to other dog-inspired versions Baby Doge Coin (BABYDOGE) and Bonk (BONK), to the most recent Pepe and Peepo (PEEPO).

Among the 6 countries analyzed, Morocco and Ivory Coast are the only ones with meme coins as 2 of their top 3 crypto. Separately, Morocco is also interested in payments protocol Ripple (XRP) and Ivory Coast in the controversial Terra Luna Classic (LUNC).

The other 4 African countries have a mix of narratives in their top 3 crypto, which is similar to Southeast Asia and might be due to the limited emergence of strong crypto narratives in 2023.

In Nigeria, investors have been watching out for the borrowing protocol Liquity (LQTY), as well as Conflux (CFX), the layer 1 that led the Chinese narrative earlier this year. The top crypto in neighboring Ghana are DeGods-associated Dust Protocol (DUST), Bitcoin (BTC), and another layer 1 Kava (KAVA).

Over in North Africa, Egypt investors’ top crypto include move-to-earn Sweat Economy’s Sweatcoin (SWEAT) and the newly launched token for layer 2 blockchain Arbitrum (ARB). 

Finally, the most popular crypto in South Africa include computation technology Truebit Protocol (TRU) and decentralized exchange native token Dodo (DODO).

Africa Top Crypto 2023

  • Nigeria’s most popular crypto are Peepo (PEEPO), Liquity (LQTY) and Conflux (CFX).
  • South Africa’s most popular crypto are Truebit Protocol (TRU), Shiba Inu (SHIB) and Dodo (DODO).
  • Morocco’s most popular crypto are Dogecoin (DOGE), Ripple (XRP) and Bonk (BONK).
  • Ghana’s most popular crypto are Dust Protocol (DUST), Bitcoin (BTC) and Kava (KAVA).
  • Egypt’s most popular crypto are Sweatcoin (SWEAT), Arbitrum (ARB) and Pepe (PEPE).
  • Ivory Coast’s most popular crypto are Terra Luna Classic (LUNC), Baby Doge Coin (BABYDOGE) and Shiba Inu (SHIB).

Africa Crypto Interest by Country 2023

Rank Country in Africa Crypto Interest Market Share
1 Nigeria 66.78%
2 South Africa 8.36%
3 Morocco 5.43%
4 Ghana 5.24%
5 Egypt 2.74%
6 Ivory Coast 2.07%
7 Uganda 1.59%
8 Angola 1.41%
9 Algeria 0.82%
10 Tunisia 0.60%
11 Kenya 0.59%
12 Namibia 0.56%
13 Mauritius 0.52%
14 Botswana 0.39%
15 Seychelles 0.39%
16 Sudan 0.36%
17 Senegal 0.34%
18 Gabon 0.30%
19 Lesotho 0.25%
20 Ethiopia 0.21%
21 Cameroon 0.17%
22 Zambia 0.15%
23 Rwanda 0.10%
24 Libya 0.09%
25 Tanzania 0.08%
26 Congo Republic 0.06%
27 Eswatini 0.05%
28 Madagascar 0.05%
29 Benin 0.05%
30 Mali 0.04%
31 Zimbabwe 0.03%
32 Guinea 0.03%
33 Togo 0.02%
34 Somalia 0.02%
35 Niger 0.02%
36 Mauritania 0.02%
37 Liberia 0.02%
38 Burkina Faso 0.02%
39 South Sudan 0.01%
40 Sierra Leone 0.01%
41 Mozambique 0.01%

The remaining 13 African countries that did not record web page views during this period were: Burundi, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde), the Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo), Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Malawi, São Tomé and Príncipe.

Methodology

The study examined crypto interest by country in Africa, based on CoinGecko data for web page views from January 1 to July 4, 2023. Potentially inflated views were excluded to ensure representative data.

This study is for illustrative and informational purposes only, and is not financial advice. Always do your own research and be careful when putting your money into any crypto or financial asset.


If you use these insights, we would appreciate a link credit to this article on CoinGecko. A link credit allows us to keep supplying you with data-led content that you may find useful.

Curious to find out more about our previous research studies? Check out this one we did on crypto vs AI jobs search trends.

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Lim Yu Qian
Lim Yu Qian
Yuqian is a crypto research analyst at CoinGecko, covering a range of topics from NFTs to ETFs, crypto adoption and interest, and beyond. She's especially fascinated by the philosophical and socioeconomic aspects of crypto. She holds a Bachelor of Social Sciences with Honors from the National University of Singapore. Follow the author on Twitter @solosbrqt

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