Binance, the biggest cryptocurrency exchange by 24-hour volume as of press time, has launched a venture in Uganda, opening a fiat-to-crypto exchange in the African country. CEO Changpeng Zhao, better known as CZ, has announced the plan to start operations in Uganda back in June and starting Wednesday, October 17th, Ugandan crypto punters will be able to make deposits to Binance Uganda in BTC, ETH and Ugandan Shillings (UGX).
According to the official statement, trading on Binance Uganda will open “soon with BTC/UGX and ETH/UGX trading pairs. The start time for trading will be released in a later announcement.“ More trading pairs will be added further down the road and customers are already able to register and complete the know-your-customer (KYC) procedures. New users will be exempt from trading fees during the first month.
Get ready! We are excited to announce the launch of #Binance Uganda! Full sign-ups are now live at https://t.co/hzLBj9Dcrw, deposits and trading coming soon.https://t.co/kpqSVKulox pic.twitter.com/0jdE4cVspI
— BinanceUG (@BinanceUG) October 15, 2018
Binance CFO Wei Zhou has claimed that, “We are extremely proud to officially launch our first fiat-crypto exchange in Uganda. We have been diligently preparing for this exchange with our local partners since our team first visited Uganda in April 2018. This is only the first step in our efforts to use blockchain technology to support sustainable economic development in Africa, and we look forward to bringing more innovations to the region.“
Despite making progress in reducing the widespread poverty, Uganda remains among the poorest countries in the world, with a majority of its 44 million population earning less than $2 a day, especially in the rural areas. However, distributed ledger technology is prominent in the country, with Africa‘s annual blockchain conference being held in capital city of Kampala every May.
Binance Uganda opened for registration back in June and the crypto exchange stalwart sees huge opportunities for digital assets in Africa as the continent is yet to fully embrace the traditional finance system. Speaking at the June’s launch, CZ explained that, “Only 11% of the population [in Uganda] has bank accounts. It’s both a challenge and an opportunity. So it may be easier to adopt cryptocurrency as a form of currency instead of trying to push for bank adoption. It’s an interesting experiment – Africa’s a big market, that’s why we’re there.“
It seems that Africa is quickly becoming a focal point for the exchange, as the Binance Labs director Benjamin Rameau explained in a lengthy Medium post in August. Africa is the youngest continent in the world, with millions of young people ready to utilize the budding blockchain technology, many of them not having a traditional bank account. Crypto industry can create a new financial system in the continent and fuel its growing economy in the coming decades.
Binance has also announced plans to open fiat-crypto exchanges in Liechtenstein, Singapore and Malta, a country where the exchange is currently based after being forced to relocate from China.
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