YellowCard, an African-focused cryptocurrency exchange, is at present looking for consent to expand its offerings in Nigeria, where regulators have partially restricted digital token trading.
According to Rachael Akalia, the Regional Marketing Manager for West Africa, the organization, which has concentrated on Africa and presently operates in 16 countries on the continent, has begun talks with Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission about setting up a cryptocurrency exchange.
According to Bloomberg, the talks have stalled but will resume once the SEC issues guidelines for registering crypto firms, which is expected later in 2023. YellowCard is also said to be working with Nigeria’s Central Bank on cryptocurrency regulations.
“A lot of discussion is going on with the regulatory bodies. We’re getting positive feedback,” Akalia said.
YellowCard’s endeavors to broaden its presence in Nigeria come after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBK) directed financial institutions to close accounts associated with cryptocurrency transactions, citing possible threats to the country’s financial system.
Regardless of regulatory restrictions, online crypto trading is still very much active in Nigeria via peer-to-peer channels and transferring tokens via platforms such as YellowCard and Binance Exchange.
YellowCard currently has a business registration in Nigeria and offers a limited range of cryptocurrency services, such as purchasing and selling Bitcoin and Tether’s USDT stablecoin in Naira. It also enables users to carry out other financial transactions through its platform.
According to Akalia, the company is looking for a license that will allow it to expand its services to include a cryptocurrency exchange.
YellowCard also claims to be the first African company to obtain a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) license, following regulatory approval in Botswana in October 2022.
YellowCard, which raised $40 million in a Series B round in late 2022, is also introducing a new payments application programming interface, or API, probably in collaboration with The Block, with the goal of creating a multinational platform for crypto and money transfers.
According to the company, this will enable businesses to receive and distribute local fiat currency while YellowCard manages treasury management.
Many Nigerians, according to Akalia, “use crypto as a platform to hedge their Naira, to save them against devaluation and inflation.” They come to our platform and buy USDT, either to store it in their crypto wallet or to buy and sell.
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