On Friday the 13th of September, Nairametrics sat down with the Chief Executive Officer of Quidax, Buchi Okoro, to discuss Quidax’s rising reputation in the cryptocurrency space and what to expect from Africa’s largest cryptocurrency exchange and possibly the continent’s next billion-dollar crypto startup.
Why is Quidax in crypto?
The journey into crypto started a while back with me actually getting ripped off while trying to buy cryptocurrency with Naira, as well as my co-founder Uzo Awili receiving Bitcoin for his work as a developer with no way to convert it to naira. Now multiply that by the thousands of people having these same issues and it becomes clear that the big why for us was to fill a real market need and the opportunity to be a part of the greatest revolution to finance and money in the past 200 years. That is golden.
At what point did Quidax seem viable?
We started initially with the crude (so it seemed at the time) idea of organizing a Whatsapp group where people bought and sold crypto between themselves. This was in 2016, at some point it was like oh, this is something and we sat down to do the math. People where moving serious numbers through that group, it was at that point we knew there was a demand for a reliable and seamless way to buy and sell cryptocurrency. We can say that was when we knew Quidax was viable but it wasn’t Quidax then.
What is Quidax doing that is unique?
Firstly, we settle to local bank accounts instantly, the earliest we have seen is 4 hours settlement time-spanning up to 72 hours, this literally means that you can’t save a life if you wanted to use a crypto transaction.
Secondly, we are building the infrastructure that powers crypto-fiat transactions across Africa which means you can now build a crypto application into your product or service powered by our infrastructure. If you want your users to buy, sell or store crypto on your product, or simply operate a cryptocurrency wallet, you can easily do that by integrating with our plug-and-play APIs.
What do you love about your team, and why are you the ones to solve this problem?
The thing I love most about the team is that they are crazy enough to think they can do anything. We always joke that if we knew what it would take we might never have gone into it but beyond that, there is a huge sense of trust, discipline and fellowship within the team and that is important because the journey is long and the demands are heavy.
We are solving the problem because there is equal parts experience, excitement and discipline within the team.
In your opinion, do you think cryptocurrency can transform Africa?
Yes, I do, and that is because Africa has a track record of leapfrogging. It happened with telecommunication, with mobile money and now with financial transactions. The promise of crypto is the ability to transfer value from point A to B efficiently, seamlessly and cheaply. We see cryptocurrency as the technology that could make doing business across and with Africa easier, cheaper, faster and more efficient. Crypto would open Africa to the world economically in the way the internet did.
What is Quidax’s unfair competitive advantage and why will it be sustained?
12 hours to 2 minutes. That’s the amount of time we have reduced settlement to the local bank account and we have been able to do that because of our integrations into the major banks, it took us 10 months to get this right.
We support businesses that transact with cryptocurrency and want to offer crypto services to their customers in the way no other player does.
Here’s a question I have been meaning to ask, what can people do with cryptocurrency?
In some countries, you can use cryptocurrencies to pay for everyday goods and services. The likes of Starbucks and retailer Walmart are among those that accept cryptocurrency as payment.
In Nigeria, very soon, customers would be able to pay for everyday stuff using cryptocurrency. One of the businesses we support, Fliqpay, has been on this journey for a while and it is finally coming to light. So you would be able to buy airtime, movie tickets, pay for pizza and even cars using cryptocurrency.
What has Quidax achieved so far?
The first of August this year made it 1 year since we launched our public beta. In that time we have processed over 110 Million US Dollars in transaction volume and we serve users in 70 countries and 6 continents but we are still yet to scratch the surface. We want to support more businesses looking to offer cryptocurrency services and help drive its education and adoption in Africa.
What does the next 5 years look like for Quidax?
In the next 5 years, we expect to be covering at least 40 countries in Africa and powering remittance in and out of Africa. We also expect that at that time we would have achieved our goal of being the go-to African partner for anything cryptocurrency related.
What’s a typical day at Quidax like?
A typical day at Quidax could go from calling users to understand the issues they are facing and then turning that feedback into actionable steps that could end up as new product features or an upgrade to an existing feature. However, the best part of my day is taking a look at our metrics to understand how users are daily engaging with Quidax and what we can do to optimize that experience for them.
What’s in Quidax’s pipeline? What features can users expect from Quidax in the next 1 year?
A couple of our plans for the next year are hush-hush. Although I can tell you what to expect over the next month. In about 3 weeks we will be launching our mobile app but sometime before then, we will be kicking off a partnership with a liquidity provider. With the partnership, people can trade higher amounts of cryptocurrency on Quidax. The most exciting part of next month is that we will be entering into some partnerships that would change the face of crypto-remittance in Africa.
Who are your competitors, and how are you different?
While there are a number of cryptocurrency exchanges in Africa none of them is on our trajectory. That is taking an active approach to solving remittance problem by providing liquidity and taking on the challenges of building out the required infrastructure to power remittance in a way no one is thinking about it today. In all honesty, we need more competitors looking at this problem with each coming up with a unique and innovative way to tackle the problem. At the end of the day, it’s a win-win for everyone.
What’s your biggest threat?
Our biggest threat is regulation. Don’t get me wrong we are not against regulation, we are currently in line with Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti Money Laundry (AML) best practices for financial institutions. Rather, regulation without a proper understanding of the cryptocurrency space is what we are wary of.
Although we are definitely in support of cryptocurrency regulations to ensure a safe climate for users. We would rather it is done with players in the space at the table to ensure innovation isn’t stifled just when it is starting to grow.
Dogecoin post weekly gains of over 450%, more valuable than Barclays and Credit Suisse
The listing of DOGE on Coinbase and other related institutional-focused exchanges could make DOGE’s value rise as high as $1.
In recent weeks, Dogecoin (DOGE) has become the darling of many crypto traders and investors as it rallied by more than 450% amid high buying pressure.
Even after earlier pullbacks, its current market valuation of about $35 billion makes it more valuable than century-old banks like Barclays and Credit Suisse which have a valuation of $32 billion and $23.9 billion respectively.
The crypto asset, at the time of writing, was the only profitable crypto in the top 5, triggered by Twitter posts from Elon Musk, one of the world’s most powerful and wealthiest person alive.
Market pundits argue that the credence from the world’s leading billionaires like Elon Musk and Mark Cuban might have given the fast-rising crypto enough support amid the recent price correction ongoing in the flagship crypto market.
Crypto pundits also argue that the listing of DOGE on Coinbase and other related institutional-focused exchanges that offer altcoin derivatives could make its value rise as high as $1.
At the time of writing this report, Dogecoin traded at $0.409118 with a daily trading volume of $35.3 billion. It is currently the fifth most valuable crypto by market value surpassing the likes of Tether, Cardano, and Polkadot.
Dogecoin is a type of digital coin that is decentralized and facilitates peer-to-peer digital transactions. This means you can send money online with much ease. It is usually referred to as “the internet currency.”
Bank of England considers digital currency
If approved, the digital currency would exist alongside other payment options, rather than replacing them.
The UK government and the Bank of England are taking landmark steps towards the creation of a central bank digital currency, joining other nations that include China and Bahamas in the digital currency drive.
A press release issued on the government’s website announced the creation of a body with the mandate to coordinate on the possibility of a Bank of England-issued digital money for use by households and businesses.
If approved, the digital currency would exist alongside other payment options, rather than replace them.
Speaking at Fintech Week, Chancellor Rishi Sunak spoke on the initiatives put in place with regulatory support and structural reforms toward the British drive on a central bank digital currency.
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak said:
“Our vision is for a more open, greener, and more technologically advanced financial services sector. The UK is already known for being at the forefront of innovation, but we need to go further. The steps I’ve outlined today, to boost growing fintechs push the boundaries of digital finance and make our financial markets more efficient, will propel us forward. And if we can capture the extraordinary potential of technology, we’ll cement the UK’s position as the world’s pre-eminent financial centre.
A new Taskforce, bringing together HM Treasury and the Bank of England, will be established to explore a possible UK central bank digital currency (CBDC).
Two new forums will also be established to engage technical experts and key stakeholders (including financial institutions, merchants, business users, civil society groups, and consumers) through the process.”
A digital currency is a cash balance recorded electronically on a store value card or other physical devices, which could someday replace the physical notes of the British pound or Naira, for instance.
Digital currencies can be decentralized, a situation where the control over cash supply can come from diverse sources. Digital currencies can also be centralized, a situation where there is a midpoint of control over cash supply, just like the way central banks work.
The U.S government is also considering a framework for creating a U.S. central bank digital currency, which would be mined through the blockchain protocol, transferred between users, and recorded in a public ledger.
Nairametrics | Company Earnings
Access our Live Feed portal for the latest company earnings as they drop.
- 2020 FY Results: Unity Bank Plc posts profit after tax of N2.09 billion.
- Guinea Insurance Plc reports a loss of N142.13 million in 9M 2020.
- Unilever Nigeria Plc set to hold Annual General Meeting on 6th of May.
- UBA Plc posts profit after tax of N38.16 billion in Q1 2021.
- PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc appoints Ifueko Okauru as Independent Non-Executive Director.