Cryptocurrency remains a popular method of profiting online in Nigeria. In fact, despite global value fluctuations, a 2022 Punch report states that over 33 million Nigerians still trade or own cryptocurrencies. After all, there are numerous ways to earn money with crypto such as lending, mining, and staking, all of which are relatively accessible for most investors today.
That said, regardless of which way you choose to optimise cryptocurrencies, what matters most is choosing the right ones to invest in. With nearly 23,000 cryptocurrencies on the market, here are 10 worth your time and effort.
Bitcoin is the most well-known and widely-used cryptocurrency, with one token worth almost ₦20.2 million ($26,000). Given its relative stability, since launching in 2009, its market capitalisation has been more significant than all other crypto market caps combined. Case in point, its all-time-high market cap clocked in at ₦53 million ($69,000) per token. Furthermore, crypto trading with Bitcoin is ideal since it is more stable than other currencies, which means you can trust its track record of longevity. Apart from this, it also has the highest level of liquidity, which means it can buy and sell for profit faster and with fewer losses. This makes it particularly attractive for investors who do not practise hodling. Although its value has decreased, the BTC market cap still takes the lead at close to ₦395 trillion ($507 billion).
Ethereum is the second most prominent cryptocurrency after Bitcoin. One token is worth almost ₦1.3 million ($1,676). It was a project of eight partners with notable names like Microsoft and Intel at the helm. They designed it as a multipurpose blockchain network that connected various users. This broad network is largely why there are 120 million Ether coins in circulation, six times more than the amount of Bitcoins. In Nigeria, Ethereum remains a highly sought-after token. Just last year, after the crypto dip, Google searches for Ethereum in Nigeria topped global surveys. Today, Ethereum has a market value exceeding ₦154 trillion ($198 billion).
Chainlink enables non-blockchain enterprises to connect with blockchain platforms with one coin worth only ₦4,640 ($6). It is a decentralised oracle network that connects blockchains with off-chain data. The Chainlink oracle network distributes non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and incorporates your savings in the flow of your trades. LINK tokens serve as the currency to pay Chainlink operators for retrieving and preparing data from off-chain feeds and formatting data into more accessible formats. You can rely on Chainlink since it has a maximum supply of one billion tokens and has a present market cap of more than ₦2.3 trillion ($3 billion). That said, LINK currently has significantly fewer network nodes than its peers like Ether, so it may require further security in order to fully maximise decentralisation.
Ripple is a blockchain-based digital payment network and protocol with one coin worth ₦392 ($0.51). Its primary focus serves as a payment and remittance system. This system operates on an open-source and peer-to-peer decentralised platform with seamless money transfer in all its forms. You can trust Ripple’s consensus protocol since it improves the system’s integrity by preventing double-spending. For example, if you decide to send ₦77,600 ($100) multiple times, all transactions are nullified except the initial one. With these improvements, the creator of the token, Ripple Labs, partnered with MFS Africa to facilitate real-time crypto-enabled payments in 35 countries. Crypto transactions reduce cross-border fees and speed up settlement time. These confirmations are instant since no central authority slows things down. Ripple’s currency, called XRP, also flows between wallets and is available to the public, although not attached to any individual ID or business. Remember, the payment system is for banks. As an individual investor, you can speculate on the price of the XRP.
Solana is a blockchain platform designed to host decentralised and scalable applications with one coin worth ₦15,400 ($19). It also uses a PoS blockchain, improving the PoH mechanism used by other cryptos. You can use Solana’s currency SOL, similar to Ethereum. Both have intelligent contract capabilities where you can run applications like decentralised finance (DeFi) and NFTs. However, Solana is also faster as it can process 50,000 transactions per second with average transaction fees of ₦0.19 ($0.00025), while Ethereum can only handle less than 15 transactions costing ₦1,300 ($1.68). This is despite having lower fees and a more accessible cost per token. Solana has also partnered with the Nigerian National Identity Management Commission to develop a blockchain-based identification verification system. This collaboration may make the token more valuable in local Nigerian markets.
Tether is a cryptocurrency stablecoin connected to the US dollar, and it is 100% backed by Tether’s reserves, with one coin worth ₦775 ($1). It was based on the Bitcoin blockchain and now supports protocols like Omni and Liquid. Tether’s goal is to keep the price of its tokens stable and synchronised with traditional currencies like the US dollar. You can move funds between crypto markets and traditional financial systems. It helps minimise risk due to its 1-for-1 peg to conventional money. You can trust Tether due to its stability and capability to maintain its value alongside real currencies if it keeps enough of its actual currency in its reserves. Tether has also made an imprint in Africa in its efforts to raise crypto-awareness and improve adoption of the stablecoin. Consequently, Nairametrics reports that Nigeria shows the highest Internet interest in Tether across the globe.
Uniswap is a decentralised exchange that enables peer-to-peer market-making with one coin worth ₦3,400 ($4). Its platform helps users trade crypto without the involvement of a centralised third party. Like Ripple, the Uniswap blockchain is open source and viewable to the public, meaning anyone can contribute. You can use Uniswap to create new markets to exchange new pairs of digital assets. Apart from this, you can also provide liquidity by staking your digital currencies on the platform, and then the UNI currency will be awarded to you. Investing in Uniswap is more straightforward since the decentralised governance of this platform will allow you to participate freely without restrictions. Remember, Uniswap only supports the exchange of Ethereum-compatible cryptocurrencies.
Dogecoin is a peer-to-peer open-source cryptocurrency considered an altcoin wherein one coin is worth ₦50 ($0.06). It features a scrypt algorithm with a blockchain derived from Litecoin. Regardless of this token’s genesis as a “joke”, Nigeria is one of the top five countries that show enthusiasm for these crypto meme coins. Largely, this may be because Dogecoin is an inflationary coin. You can utilise Dogecoin with any seller who chooses to accept it. Even international businesses like SpaceX are examples. You can also use it to tip content creators on Reddit and other social media platforms. Dogecoin is reliable based on its market capitalisation of ₦8.8 trillion ($11.4 billion). Despite its showmanship, serious businessmen like Elon Musk stand by the crypto and are said to expand its uses in the future.
Cardano is a decentralised proof of stake (PoS) blockchain designed as a more efficient alternative to proof of work (PoW) networks. This functions by eliminating the effort and computing resources because PoS blockchains do not rely on cryptocurrency mining. It instead uses multiple random validators to confirm a transaction is accurate before forwarding information to the blockchain. This approach is a big reason why ADA is especially popular in Africa. As of 2021, multiple countries have been tapped by IOHK. Through these partnerships, local governments can utilise Cardano’s extensive blockchain technology to help mobilise sectors like business, real estate, and education. Another reason why ADA is a worthwhile investment is its comparatively lower cost per token. To date, a single ADA token is worth ₦200 ($0.3). This is despite its market cap being at an impressive ₦6 trillion ($8 billion).
The Polkadot protocol attempts to break down the barriers between various blockchain ecosystems with one coin worth ₦3,300 ($4). It allows intermediary-free communication among these networks. Polkadot’s system helps enable vastly different blockchains to interact with one another through parachains. The network also uses the PoS algorithm similar to Cardano. You can purchase its currency, DOT, on various exchange sites and store it in digital wallets. Polkadot is reliable, given that it can process 1,000 transactions per second, with its upper limits being 1 million transactions per second. Although in its early stages, you can analyse market trends and see if the DOT crypto suits your investment strategy. Polkadot also hosted a blockchain conference in Kenya back in March 2023. They discussed Polkadot’s interface, parachains, emerging technologies, and potential use cases for infrastructure and environmental development. They discussed startup projects done on the Polkadot ecosystem, especially those done by the youth.