The world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange by volume has just launched a new exchange in Africa: Binance Uganda. The crypto trading platform signed up 40,000 new users in its first week.
The massive response and interest in Uganda highlights a key strength of cryptocurrency that lies outside of the US and its preoccupation with Bitcoin ETFs, institutional traders, hedge fund heavyweights and Wall Street money. Crypto’s “killer app” will lie in its ability to attract people in developing countries where they do not have easy access to banks, credit and financial services.
According to a Stanford report entitled “Banking the Unbanked? Evidence from Three Countries” roughly 77% of Uganda’s population of 42.86 million is unbanked – an estimated 33 million people.
Writes UX/UI designer Pierre Rognion in Hackernoon,
“In 2010, around 2.5 billion of the world’s adults was not using formal banks or semiformal microfinance institutions to save or borrow money. Nearly 2.2 billion of these unserved adults live in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. In most cases, they are unbanked because banks cannot serve them for various reasons (example: remote areas). But a lot of these people have mobile phones and make transactions with it. Why wouldn’t they transact with bitcoin and other cryptoassets?”
Binance Uganda, which launched in October, is operating outside of the established financial services industry and without a traditional bank.
Says Binance CEO Changpang “CZ” Zhao,
“We have no office, we have no bank account, and we have users from 180 different countries.”
In our second panel, Zhao Changpeng, CEO of @binance explains how blockchain companies are changing the nature of business. “We have no office, we have no bank account, and we have users from 180 different countries,” he says. #ForbesGlobalCEO pic.twitter.com/MkqJBE1QHj
— Forbes Asia (@ForbesAsia) October 30, 2018
Binance Uganda will offer 24/7 customer service support for fiat-to-crypto trading of Ugandan shilling (UGX) for Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH).
CEO CZ is also hoping that Ugandas will use TrustWallet, which partnered with Binance in July. TrustWallet is a standalone application for iOS and Android devices that allows users to manage cryptocurrency and interact with decentralized applications (DApps), including decentralized exchanges. The technology empowers people to be their own bank without any middlemen. It supports Tron as well as thousands of tokens built on Ethereum.
— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) November 2, 2018