The cryptocurrency exchange has given up on Binance Uganda, but the regional play remains strong
Following the announcement of a disappointing closure of a Ugandan subsidiary in October, Binance — the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange — released a blog post yesterday indicating that another initiative, Binance P2P, is making strong inroads across the world’s second-most populous continent.
Titled “P2P Merchants: Facilitating Freedom of Money in Africa,” the post highlighted the peer-to-peer trading program’s growth in the region throughout the year — most notably stating that Binance P2P has processed a total of $280 million equivalent local African currencies since March, when the program introduced coverage for the Nigerian Naira (NGN).
Binance also claims that the program allows local merchants in Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Egypt and Morocco to “earn between $30 and $350 per day” buying and selling cryptocurrencies to their peers with local fiat currencies. In a separate post, Binance also advertises that with Binance P2P, “it’s easy to run your own crypto trading operation.”
This update follows comments made by Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao in May, where CZ called Africa an “untapped market” that features both significant opportunities, as well as unique challenges.
“We view the entire African market as a really key market,” he said. “I don’t think it’s very easy to buy cryptocurrencies in Africa right now overall, so we want to help improve that situation.”
In an interview with Cointelegraph in July, CEO of Nigeria-based exchange Yellow Card Chris Maurice offered a different view from CZ, indicating that growth is coming along handily:
“In terms of the crypto scene and everything, things are growing very rapidly, really across the continent, but specifically in Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, and Kenya,” said Maurice.
Additionally, data indicates that usage in Africa is on the rise. Research firm Chainalysis released a report in September indicating that small value crypto transfers are up over 50% on the year across the continent.
This is an especially promising development, given the potential for cryptocurrencies to significantly improve cross-border exchange and settlement across the continent.