Digital currency has been said to be the future of payments. As its grows to take that place in the world, it’s also taking its roots in Africa.
Nigeria, alongside Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa lead the continent in bitcoin volumes according to data from localbitcoins. Weekly trading volumes averaged at 1,140,000,000 Naira, roughly $ 3.2 million. This data is even more because more trading activity happens offline, and is not captured by peer-to-peer marketplace data.
Even the Central Bank of Nigeria agree cryptocurrencies are disruptive, and are having thoughts of embracing it. At a conference in Lagos in September, Musa Jimoh Deputy Director/Head, Payments System Policy and Oversight, CBN said
“[we] cannot stop the tide of waves generated by the blockchain technology and its derivatives. Currently, we have taken measures to create four departments in the institution that are looking forward to harmonise the white paper on Crypto currency.”
Here are 4 startups driving the wave of digital currency in Nigeria:
The Lagos based company officially began operations on October 12 in a bid to address borderless payments and access to cryptocurrencies in West Africa. Tanjalo’s CTO and Co-founder Tim Akinbo also runs the only node in West Africa.
According to the CTO and co-founder, Tim Akinbo, “Our mission is to offer people with the opportunity to participate in the financial ecosystem with or without a bank account or mobile money wallet especially in a region that has the highest rate of financial exclusion in the world.”
Nairexoffers a marketplace for Bitcoin exchange, and through its bitcoin remittance service Nigerians are able to send and receive money with zero fees and great exchange rates.
Sending or Receiving Money with NairaEx is straightforward, the sender deposit money into the NairaEx platform, provide us with beneficiary bank details and NairaEx will pay into the beneficiary’s local bank account.
It also currently enable payment to China, India, Mexico, Europe, takes 2 to 24 hours for the beneficiary to receive the money in their bank account and promises no hidden fees or charges.
Nairaswitch is dedicated to providing Nigerians with a safe and secure platform, and providing the tools needed to purchase and sell bitcoin and Perfect Money. Through the Nairaswitch platform, you can buy and sell Bitcoins in Nigeria via Bank transfer, Perfect Money, and Web money at fair and competitive market rates.
Bitkoin.Africa was launched by a team of developers in Nigeria, led by Timi Ajiboye.
The exchange comes with a secure platform and an automated escrow service along with Bitcoin buying and selling via debit cards (Visa and Mastercard) and sale proceeds can go directly to your Nigerian bank account. While Nigeria gets full functionality, other countries in the region can only buy Bitcoin for now.
Nigeria receives over $21 billion in remittances annually. The cost of remittances into African countries is highest at over 9% compared to all the regions of the world. With bitcoin exchange service offered by these startups, they can help significantly lower costs by leveraging cryptocurrencies as a settlement currency and medium of exchange.
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