The last few days have been eventful for Nigerians, especially for its growing crypto community.
A massive nationwide protest to end police brutality in Nigeria is underway. The protest initially targeted members of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS). However, it has now morphed into something bigger as young Nigerians come out in droves to demand better governance. They have also resounded the demand to end SARS, using dedicated hashtags on Twitter.
In the past 8 days, there have been protests in more than 23 states in the country. It has also involved a wide demographic, from old to young, and spanning different socioeconomic classes. Unfortunately, more than 10 people have been killed since the protest started including Jimoh Isiaq.
The Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari has called for the disbandment of SARS. But the protests rage on because the youths claim that their full demands have not been met.
In cities like Abuja, protesters have faced resistance from the police. They’ve been attacked with tear gas, water, and nearly rammed off the roads by police vehicles.
Apart from physically protesting, Nigerians and the international community are funding the protest through donations.
Flutterwave opened donations by raising ₦2 million in-house and opening a payment link for others to donate. Several other companies have donated towards the protest since then. All funds raised are managed by the Feminist Coalition, a group of Nigerian feminists. So far, they have raised more than ₦69 million.
How Anti-SARS Protests Affect the Nigerian Crypto Community
Nigeria has a fast growing population of cryptocurrency users. Unfortunately they have not been spared the constant harassment by SARS. There is also a stigma that associates these users with criminal activity.
However, in light of the recent protests, the community may see growth and a positive outlook. This is because protests donations may change how people view cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. It can show that when used properly, Bitcoin can be a force for good.
Due to technical issues, the flutterwave donation link has closed down. There have been questions of possible government interference with the protest funding channels.
Although nothing has been confirmed yet, Nigerians are moving towards more decentralized funding channels such as Bitcoin. The feminist coalition has urged people to donate via Bitcoin instead of normal channels. As events unfold, there may be other cryptocurrency options available for donation.
If you don’t know how to get started with Bitcoin, it’s not too late. Learn more about Bitcoin and how you can donate to the protests in this short informative guide.