The cryptocurrency exchange Binance launched a Ugandan subsidiary this October. Now, Binance Uganda has revealed that 40,000 cryptocurrency traders joined the platform during the first week it was available.
It is no secret that developing markets oftentimes show a marked appetite for cryptocurrencies. This largely stems from how traditional banking services can be hard or even impossible to access in such countries.
Because of this, cryptocurrencies provide a viable payment alternative that is easily accessible and open to everyone. Furthermore, a recently published Stanford University paper stated that 74% of Ugandans are currently unbanked.
Binance’s Chief Financial Officer Wei Zhou raised this issue in an interview with CoinDesk. ”They [users] just have to have money within the mobile payment system. They don’t have to have bank accounts.”
Uganda is pivot to Binance’s Africa plans
Zhou also went on to stress the importance of Uganda in bringing cryptocurrency payments to more of the continent. ”Uganda is our pivot to reach out to other African markets,” Zhou noted.
The Ugandan Binance division is currently only listing Bitcoin and Ethereum. Nevertheless, it would appear that this did not dampen Ugandan enthusiasm for registering with the subsidy.
Unlike Binance, Binance Uganda is partnering with a local mobile service payments provider which will convert fiat to crypto. ”One of the major issues in the region, in the continent, right now is liquidity and Binance will bring us liquidity,” according to a Marvin Coleby, an entrepreneur in Kenya.
That 40,000 Ugandans decided to register with Binance is not entirely surprising, as previous cryptocurrency-offerings were quite slim. Ugandans have previously been forced to rely on peer-to-peer services like LocalBitcoins or foreign exchange services.
Ugandans ”hungry” for cryptocurrency
In addition to this, the chairman of the Ugandan Blockchain Association, Kwame Rugunda, also weighed in on the subject. He noted that peer-to-peer services and foreign exchange services have not been especially common solutions.
Nevertheless, Rugunda added that the Ugandan population is ”hungry” for access to cryptocurrencies. This may have been what precipitated the 40,000 registrations witnessed by Binance Uganda.
Rugunda also shared that other global cryptocurrency exchanges are now making contact with local regulators. This indicated that the country could soon see even more global cryptocurrency actors make an entry.
Moreover, this comes as Toshi Times recently covered how Berkshire Hathaway had made several investments in emerging market fintech solutions.
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Rasmus Pihl is a writer for Toshi Times by day and an avid follower of the blockchain industry by night. Rasmus holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from the Gothenburg School of Business, Economics, and Law and runs a Swedish marketing consulting firm. Moreover, when he isn’t writing for Toshi Times, traveling, working or changing the world in some other capacity, Rasmus is more than likely caught up in postgraduate studies.