Leading crypto exchange platform, Binance, has reported a surge in the number of African users on its platform. This is despite attempts by some governments across the continent to clamp down on the use of cryptocurrencies.
It saw an increase of 2228.21% in P2P users on the platform and 386.93% in P2P volumes across Africa.
Recall that in February, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) issued a circular prohibiting banks and financial institutions from facilitating payments for cryptocurrency exchanges. This followed a trend of governments worldwide pushing back on the use of cryptocurrencies, with United States Federal Reserve Chairman, Jerome Powell, expressing reservations about the volatility of cryptocurrencies and their role in criminal activities.
It wasn’t just the number of users on Binance that increased. The trading volume of crypto-crypto transactions also increased by 28.61% between January and April 2021.
The platform also recorded a 114.33% increase in users across Africa between January and April 2021. Binance’s growth is consistent with a report by Nairametrics claiming that there was a surge in P2P bitcoin transactions following the CBN’s ban.
To increase its presence in Africa, Binance invested in Nigerian startup, Xend Finance.
While Binance’s African operations seem to be on the rise, the same cannot be said for its US operations. The startup is under investigation by the US Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service. US federal officials are investigating whether its citizens are using the platform’s services to fund illicit activities and evade taxes.
Binance’s growth in the period under review is further proof that Africans will continue to use cryptocurrencies. Rather than place roadblocks in the path of users, this might be the time for governments across the continent to rally around startups operating in the space.
Accidental writer, covering Africa’s startup landscape and its heroes.