The Comeback Kid, Yellow Card’s Relaunch in Nigeria
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October, 17 2022
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Yellow Card relaunches in its first operational country, Nigeria, demonstrating its commitment to delivering financial inclusion to all by allowing Nigerians to easily access cryptocurrencies despite crypto limitations.
Globally, 2021 proved to be a significant year for cryptocurrencies. And while some played it safe, Africa’s leading crypto exchange Yellow Card Financial achieved significant milestones which included: setting up the YC Academy, launching in new African territories and raising a Series A of $15M. Now, starting the year off strong, Yellow Card is proud to announce their relaunch into Nigeria.
This relaunch is significant as Nigeria was the first African country where Yellow Card was set up, in 2018. Since then the company has solidified its presence in 14 countries, making significant strides to make cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and USDT Stablecoin accessible to anyone anywhere across the continent.
Oparinde Babatunde, Yellow Card Director of Operations, says this moment is a game-changer for the company.
“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 1 traders (traders that get scammed the most) are only able to submit documents once and they are scanned with an international DB,” he said.
Yellow Card’s initial withdrawal from Nigeria came in February 2021 when the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) released a publication prohibiting commercial banks and all financial institutions from interacting with cryptocurrency entities and individuals. Their concerns around the rising number of fraud and scams led to the closure of all bank accounts of entities and individuals dealing with crypto.
“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,” added Oparinde.
At the time of the withdrawal, Yellow Card boasted an estimated 90k users in Nigeria - a majority of these users included technologically savvy youth and people who wanted to explore innovative investment and retirement options. The team has now set their sights on achieving 500k users in the country by the end of the first quarter of 2022.
Crypto adoption across the continent is growing at record numbers. Earlier this year, the Global Crypto Adoption Index cited South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, and Nigeria as among the top 20 countries with the fastest growth.
Oparinde says the reason for the increased interest can be attributed to the fact that “a lot of Africans use crypto to hedge against inflation as most African currencies continue to lose their value against the US dollar. "Crypto also tends to be a faster and cheaper means of cross-border payment, so people prefer it as an option as opposed to the traditional fiat monetary system”.
As interest in crypto is on the rise, educating Africans on the market remains one of Yellow Card’s key mandates, and they have managed to successfully execute this through various initiatives, webinars, and platforms. One such platform is the Yellow Card Academy which boasts a wide range of information about cryptocurrency, blockchain technology, and financial literacy.
Having been in the market before, Yellow Card does not negate the challenges that may arise, including government policies that clamp down on cryptocurrency entities and individuals dealing with crypto. Despite this, there’s no denying that the speed at which Africans are adopting crypto is too fast to contain.
"Crypto gives people a sense of freedom,” says Oparinde. “As humans, we love freedom and naturally tilt towards anything that projects that."
There’s no doubt that 2022 will be another significant year for cryptocurrencies as people want to be part of this new emerging market. So while you’re putting together your New Year's resolutions, why not add invest, trade, buy or sell crypto to your list. Sign-up to Yellow Card today. Trust us, you won’t regret it.