Binance Uganda Attracts 40,000 Users In First Week Of Ops

Nov 02, 2018 at 16:16

Binance, considered as the biggest crypto exchange in the world, has reportedly signed up more than 40,000 users in Uganda during the first week of operations in the country.

The company launched Binance Uganda last month with hopes to capitalize on the perceived strong interest for Bitcoin and Ethereum in the country despite the fact that most citizens are unbanked.

Binance chief financial officer Wei Zhou said the idea behind the expansion is to enable citizens to have money on their mobile payment systems but not necessarily through bank accounts.

He explained that compared to its usual operations, the Uganda unit will partner with a local mobile payments provider to convert fiat to crypto or vice versa.

Notably, before Binance started its operations in the country, Ugandans who wanted to trade crypto relied on peer-to-peer exchanges like LocalBitcoins or nearby services such as the Golix exchange from Zimbabwe.

Zhou further stated that the Uganda expansion is just the start as they eye to hire local operational staff for both local support and expansion of similar subsidiaries next year to either Kenya, Nigeria or South Africa.

Kwame Rugunda, chairman of the Uganda Blockchain Association and co-founder of the Ugandan blockchain startup CryptoSavannah, meanwhile claimed that after Binance’s opening in the country, several other crypto exchanges also contacted local regulators.

“We’ve already heard of interest from other players that are looking at the Ugandan market,” he said.

Despite the rather strong support, one crypto player said that like in other territories, Uganda’s reliance on cryptocurrencies for daily remittances is still a long way.

“Uganda is a heavily offline market, where trust is built through face-to-face interactions… We are very hopeful in regards to regulation and government support, as they have been recently very open to new blockchain events and innovations,” said Elizabeth Rossiello, chief executive officer of BitPesa, a crypto startup based in Kenya.

Apart from the African nation, it can be recalled that Binance has also been active in setting up an office in South Korea to also corner the Asian market.