(ICYMI) Tapswap frenzy: Why Nigerians are tapping their phone screens

A new trend has swept across Nigeria in recent days, with people of all ages tapping on their phone screens in pursuit of financial gain.

Tapswap, a popular clicker app, has taken the country by storm as users tap repeatedly on the icon in the centre of the Telegram Tapswap bot screen to mine coins.

The app’s sudden popularity has sparked a nationwide phenomenon, with many Nigerians eager to cash in on the trend

Viral videos have shown alarming instances of individuals, both young and old, obsessively tapping on their phones.

In one clip, a Keke driver was seen tapping away on his phone with one hand while simultaneously steering his moving vehicle and transporting passengers.

Another viral video showed several traders in Northern Nigeria tapping vigorously on their screens.

Why are they tapping?

“One of the biggest challenges Web3 and crypto have is onboarding new persons into the Web3 space.

“Remember Piggyvest. If I invite you to Piggyvest, I get N1000. This tapping is basically how new people are onboarded in Web3,” Chi Ofoegbu, a freelance Product Marketing Manager for crypto projects and Web3 enthusiast, told PUNCH Online on Wednesday.

Web3, also referred to as Web 3.0, represents a new generation of the World Wide Web, characterised by decentralisation, blockchain technology, and token-based economics.

Stephen Ajiboye, a Web3 educator and Digital Marketer for GeorgeneKoko, an over-the-counter crypto firm based in Akure, Ondo State, said Web3 shared similarities with the dot-com bubble in its potential for transformative impact.

The dot-com boom, or internet bubble, was a period of swift expansion in the late 1990s and early 2000s, marked by intense interest from venture capitalists and traditional investors in internet-related tech companies.

“The normal internet we use now is referred to as Web2. For blockchain-based technology, it is referred to as Web3. Many believe that Web3 is the next big thing,” he said.

Ofoegbu explained the tapping phenomenon, “Most of the tapping involves inviting somebody and tapping on your screen. It is to get new users and see how much their system can take. It is rewarding people to invite other people.

“These platforms have realised it is the cheapest way to get new users and get them to invite their friend and also reward them for participating and inviting their friend,” Ofoegbu said.

Many Nigerians profited from the Notcoin airdrop campaign by engaging in Telegram gaming activities, thereby increasing their crypto holdings.

As of May 20, 2024, Bitcoin.com reports that over 102 billion NOT tokens exist on the TON chain, valued at $0.00568 per unit, resulting in a market capitalisation of $574 million. According to Bitcoin.com. miners received 78% of the total supply.

Ajiboye said, “It’s an airdrop thing. Most projects that build in the crypto space, they build a community to amplify your project like a sort of free marketing for you. The reward that they give back to the community is something called airdrop. The reward comes in the form of the token that the particular project is using.”

An airdrop is a marketing tactic used by cryptocurrency projects to distribute free tokens or coins to a large number of wallet addresses, often to promote awareness, drive adoption, and build a community

According to Daily Coin, a website that focuses on cryptocurrency and blockchain-related news, following the introduction of Telegram Mini Apps, simple crypto apps have attracted a substantial user base.

Crypto clicker apps, such as Notcoin, TapSwap, and others, have recently gained immense popularity, with millions of users, Dailycoin reports.

These apps provide an accessible entry point into crypto for a vast audience. Notcoin, in particular, has achieved remarkable success, surpassing 35 million users just a few months after its official launch in January

Ajiboye said, “Notcoin used the same model of tapping. Notcoin started in January. They mined for five months. And when they launched last week, people made money. I know of people who made up to six figures, people who were very serious about it.

“Tapswap has been up for more than a month, and they will stop mining on the 30th of this month, but it was the frenzy of people who made huge money from Notcoin.

“The thing about TapSwap that makes it seem like it has gone viral is that it seems to be one of the easiest ways to mine tokens.”

Why the sudden boom?

Dailycoin reports that Notcoin’s high user engagement drew attention to clicker apps in general and prompted even Telegram founder Pavel Durov to praise it as a success story.

“The frenzy that came with Notcoin led to this going viral. Most of them might not have an idea about Web3 or crypto at all. They just know that someone is telling them to keep tapping this thing, accumulate points, and you will get money from there,” Ajiboye said.

In a statement on its official X account, Tapswap revealed that it has amassed 17 million users.

“17 million players in TapSwap!

“It’s unbelievable! If before we asked you to invite your friends, relatives, and acquaintances, now we ask you to invite only the closest ones,” the statement read.

Ajiboye attributed this success to Telegram: “The reason I will attach to it is the platform they are using. Telegram is like WhatsApp. If you can use WhatsApp or Facebook, then you shouldn’t have issues using Telegram. It is unlike saying you should download another app.

“I believe people are interested in it because of the ease of using Telegram. There have been lots of mining projects that built their own separate app that have just four, five million miners.

“There are apps that need you to sign in every day, answering quiz questions every day to accumulate points. Compared to when all you have to do is tap to get points.

“They probably heard people just tap on Telegram and made money and asked which other platform is up like that, and they were directed to Tapcoin, and they expect that it will pay very well as Notcoin. I believe it was the success of Noticoin that made Tapswap gain this large recognition. ”

Ofoegbu attributed social proof of Notcoin for bringing in late adopters.

“Early adopters are those who have been in crypto for a long time and have involved themselves in the buying and selling of coins. Late adopters are those who joined based on social proof. A lot of people invited their friends to join Notcoin, but they said it was rubbish. At the end of the day, they saw that Notcoin paid their friends 200 dollars, some 300 dollars. Others almost 1000 dollars.

“So when a lot of people found that they can make money from tapping on their screen so the late adopters are jumping on anything to see if they can earn money too.

Mining Bitcoin, the first decentralised cryptocurrency, was far more challenging, “You have to buy some hardware, military-grade CPU to mine Bitcoin. Because of the complexity of Bitcoin, most blockchains have made the whole web3 crypto thing much easier. It has come to the stage that people even mine project through their phones.

“It has become so easy that they just do small social tasks, tap, follow on Twitter, retweet, drop comment, join the Telegram community and they airdrop to their community.”

Chance of earning money?

“Yes, there is a high possibility they will get money from it. However, some people might be showing that they have 10 million points or 15 million points. But that does not mean when the project launches, they will have 10 million units of that token, which will be called Tap.

“They will do a conversion rate. By the time they want to launch, they can decide that the conversion rate will be 1000 points to one tap. Or 2000 points for one tap. They will decide on the conversion rate before they launch, and that is what they will use to allocate the token to people that participated.” Ajiboye said.

Ajiboye explained that after mining stops on the 30th, it may take them weeks to launch.

“They will have to go through verification steps. Maybe they plan to cancel out people who have multiple accounts or those who use autoclicks. They will also work on their launching date and where they will launch,”

Ofoegbu is less optimistic.

“People only tell you of airdrops that work. There are a lot that didn’t work. It might also work, they might also give rewards and the reward will not be much and you might just feel like I spent all my energy and I didn’t get anything.

“When there was less interest in crypto, you could have high hopes. You are not competing with a lot of people. So the reward will be big.

“Now that we have plenty of people to reward, how much is going to be shared among these people? Compared to the airdrops from late last year and earlier this year, when there was less interest and people got up to 2000 dollars,” Ofoegbu said.

‘Not from trees’

Ofoegbu clarified that the money for airdrops didn’t just come from thin air.

“This is the cheapest way of acquiring users. The airdrop money doesn’t come from trees. They take these users, and they show Venture Capitals and say, ‘I want to launch a new blockchain, a new project, I have been able to acquire millions of users’.

“And these VCs back them up and give them money. They then take a portion of this money and give it to the people who participated. The money wasn’t manufactured from thin air. They use this money to reward those who helped them get new users,” Ofoegbu  stated

Crypto Education

For Ajiboye, he is more concerned about promoting crypto education. Despite the fact that most Nigerians are joining these communities just to earn money, he is optimistic about the growth of crypto understanding.

Although many Nigerians are motivated by financial gains when joining these communities, Ajiboye remains optimistic about the growing understanding and adoption of cryptocurrency.

“I am sure that five out of 10 of them would be like if I could get money from just tapping. Maybe I should learn more about it. People have been saying crypto is a scam. But that way, the whole crypto education effort goes wider, and that way, you have more people learning about Web3 and crypto,” Ajiboye said.

For Ofoegbu, this is the easiest way to onboard people into crypto.

“A lot of people, after making money from this. Imagine a new user getting money from Notcoin for the first time. He will want to learn more.”

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