Binance launches fiat-to-crypto exchange in Uganda

Binance has stepped up its expansion into African markets by launching a cryptocurrency exchange in Uganda

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has announced a venture in Uganda.

Binance Uganda enables users to deposit Ugandan Shillings (UGX) to trade with Bitcoin and Ethereum.

The move by CEO Changpeng Zhao, commonly referred to as ‘CZ’, is not only significant for the African cryptocurrency community, but also for the company itself as this is its first attempt at a fiat-based exchange.

Deposits and trading will be opened on Wednesday, 17th October. Users will be required to undergo KYC and AML checks before depositing on the platform.

Speaking in June upon announcing the new exchange, CZ explained how the Ugandan market was a “really interesting situation”, going on to add: “Only 11% of the population [in Uganda] has bank accounts. It’s both a challenge and an opportunity. So it may be easier to adopt cryptocurrency as a form of currency instead of trying to push for bank adoption. It’s an interesting experiment – Africa’s a big market, that’s why we’re there.”

Uganda has a population of around 42 million and is considered to be one of the poorest countries in the world, with a GDP (gross domestic product) of just 25.53 billion in 2016. However, citizens of the east-African country hold an immense interest in blockchain technology and cryptocurrency, with Africa’s annual blockchain conference being held in the nation’s capital, Kampala, every May.

Binance is not the first cryptocurrency company to tap into Africa’s interest in the blockchain, with Veritaseum CEO Reggie Middleton making inroads to the Nigerian and South African market by introducing an asset-backed module entitled the VeADIR, which allows users to research, transact and hold digital assets like gold and silver, all on the Ethereum blockchain.

Click here for our comprehensive guide on the top 10 cryptocurrency exchanges.

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