Eight peer-to-peer platforms driving a “revolution” in digital money in Africa
SETH ONYANGO, BIRD
PEER-TO-PEER (P2P) cryptocurrency trading platforms are now the engine of growth as Africa pulls ahead of the rest of the world in grass-roots adoptions of virtual cash.
Retail-sized transfers make up a larger share of the continent’s cryptocurrency activity on the continent with P2P enabling the practical use of digital money.
In countries like Nigeria and Kenya, consumers have been documented buying commodities and services, as well as paying debts using digital currencies.
This remains a mirage in most of the Americas, Europe and parts of Asia where cryptocurrency is still viewed as a highly speculative asset –– or simply –– the future of money.
Cryptos’ biggest onslaught came on Friday when China launched a crackdown effectively banning cryptocurrencies in a move that roiled digital cash spot prices worldwide.
The ban had little impact on Africa’s small scale crypto investors, though, where most are using P2P platforms to navigate legal and regulatory headwinds.
Those platforms have struck a chord with users across the continent where consumers, specifically in Nigeria and Kenya, use them to sidestep stringent financial regulations that curtail cash transfers from banks to cryptocurrency businesses.
Regulators in the two states have been advising banks not to allow these transfers but P2P platforms, which are non-custodial, let customers trade cash for cryptocurrency amongst themselves.
“P2P platforms are especially popular in Africa compared to other regions, and many African cryptocurrency users rely on P2P platforms not just as an on-ramp into cryptocurrency, but also for remittances and even commercial transactions,” a recent Chainalysis report said.
Chinese citizens can therefore take a cue from Africans who are using P2P to trade cryptos.
But which are the biggest P2P platforms?
Paxful –– is one of the leading P2P cryptocurrency marketplaces where buyers and sellers are connected for business. All transactions on the platform are secured by an escrow service to guarantee trustless trades.
Remitano –– is an online platform that provides an escrowed P2P crypto marketplace that supports the buying and selling of cryptos. It is based in Seychelles.
Binance –– operates the worlds biggest bitcoin exchange and altcoin crypto exchange in the world by volume. Also, markets itself as a not-for-profit foundation dedicated to advancing blockchain-enabled philanthropy and global sustainable development.
LocalCryptos –– is the most popular non-custodial crypto marketplace. It is operated by the company LocalEthereum Pty Ltd, based in Richmond, Australia.
Coinbase –– an online platform for buying, selling, transferring, and storing digital currency. Has approximately 68 million verified users, 9,000 institutions, and 160,000 ecosystem partners in over 100 countries
Cryptolocally –– is the first fully decentralized crypto-crypto, and crypto-fiat P2P exchange driven by its community governance platform.
Easy Crypto –– isn’t a classic cryptocurrency exchange because it offers no custodial services. Customers are fully in control of their assets at all times.
Coindirect –– provides its customers with a P2P marketplace that enables them to easily buy and sell digital currencies using local currencies. The South Africa based company allows people to use any local currency to trade cryptocurrencies for more than 42 cryptocurrencies.