Globally, the year 2021 was a watershed moment for cryptocurrencies. While some stayed safe, Yellow Card Financial, Africa’s premier crypto exchange, reached key milestones such as establishing the YC Academy, expanding into new African areas, and raising a $15 million Series A round. Yellow Card has announced its relaunch into Nigeria to kick off the new year.
Nigeria was the first African country to establish Yellow Card in 2018, therefore this revival is noteworthy. Since then, the company has expanded to 14 countries, making substantial progress toward making cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and USDT Stablecoin accessible to anyone anywhere on the continent.
Yellow Card Director of Operations Oparinde Babatunde believes that this is a watershed moment for the organization.
“Nigeria has always been our largest market, and us coming back to reclaim our market share is a big deal for me. There’s so much that existing and new customers can expect: our app looks different and is a whole new experience for users. We also have a strong focus on usability, trust, and safety, having implemented Smile Identity to ensure the tier-I traders are only able to submit documents once and they are scanned with an international db,” he commented.
When the cryptocurrency business came under governmental investigation over worries about protecting user interests, Yellow Card withdrew from Nigeria for the first time in February 2022.
“The tide has changed and we are now seeing a growing interest from the CBN in them creating their own digital currency. Around October last year, they announced the release of the eNaira which is a digital form of the country’s currency and draws its value from the physical naira. In the coming months, we hope the CBN will reconsider their stance on cryptocurrency,” shared Babatunde.
Yellow Card had an estimated 90,000 members in Nigeria at the time of the withdrawal, with the bulk of these users being digitally aware youth and adults looking to explore novel investing and retirement possibilities. By the conclusion of the first quarter of 2022, the team hopes to have reached 500,000 users in the country.
Crypto acceptance is at an all-time high across the continent. South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, and Nigeria were among the top 20 nations with the greatest increase in the Global Crypto Adoption Index earlier this year.
The reason for the rising interest, according to Babatunde, is that ‘many Africans utilize crypto to hedge against inflation as most African currencies continue to lose value against the US dollar.’ Cryptocurrency is also a speedier and less expensive way of cross-border payment, therefore individuals prefer it over the existing fiat monetary system.’
As interest in cryptocurrency grows, one of Yellow Card’s main goals is to educate Africans about the market, which they have accomplished through a variety of projects, webinars, and platforms. The Yellow Card Academy is one such portal, with a wealth of education about cryptocurrency, blockchain technology, and financial literacy.
Yellow Card’s prior experience in the industry does not erase the problems that may occur, such as government rules that restrict bitcoin businesses and persons. Regardless, there’s no doubting that the rate at which Africans are adopting cryptocurrency is uncontrollable.