Nigerian hotel becomes country’s first to accept Bitcoin payments

George Residence in Lagos has announced plans to start accepting BTC payments. The company has already converted 50% of its balance sheet to Bitcoin.

A luxury hotel in Lagos, Nigeria will reportedly accept Bitcoin (BTC) as a form of payment and adopt the digital asset as its primary reserve currency as concerns about inflation continue to grip Africa’s largest economy.

George Residence confirmed its intent to begin accepting Bitcoin this weekend, according to 1st News, a Nigerian news publication. George Residence, which offers luxury hotel and premium apartment suites, will accept BTC through Coinvest Africa, a regional cryptocurrency brokerage.

“We have allocated around 50% of our cash reserves to Bitcoin. […] We hope to increase that as time goes on,’’ said ‘Yanju George, the company’s CEO. “Bitcoin is the currency of the future and it is only right that we are strongly positioned so we do not get left behind.”

He continued:

“Bitcoin permits our guests a faster and more secure way to enjoy the comfort we offer. Our residents desire simplicity, and we are excited to be able to offer that to them.”

Nigeria’s inflation rate has been in the double digits since 2016. Recently, it peaked at 17.33% — the highest since February 2017 — as the economic impacts of COVID-19 and a weakening local currency continue to take their toll.

Inflation is one of the reasons why Nigeria has become the bastion of crypto adoption in Africa. Since 2015, Nigerians have traded over 60,200 BTC on Paxful, a crypto peer-to-peer trading platform, second only to the United States.

The legal status of cryptocurrencies is being disputed in Nigeria after the central bank banned financial services companies from servicing digital currency exchanges. However, Adamu Lamtek, deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, later clarified that the regulator didn’t ban Nigerians from trading or holding cryptocurrencies.

As Cointelegraph recently reported, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Nigeria is working with the central bank to develop a new legal framework for digital assets.

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