In a statement released last week, The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had the Nigerian fintech startup space shaken to its foundations as it set out to clamp down on the use of cryptocurrency in the country, following a circular released on January 12th, 2017.
CBN, the regulator of financial activities in the country in a circular released on the 5th of February 2021, ordered banks to close accounts associated with cryptocurrencies and stop similar future transactions.
Despite the shocking and seemingly sudden news; The compliance of DMBs, NBFIs and OFIs were immediate as banks notified their customers that they had severed ties with crypto startups. Crypto startups sent notifications to their customers that they would no longer receive deposits or allow withdrawals in naira.
Crypto startups could not reach a compromise with the regulator and hence, the only way out of the dilemma was to find a way of working the system -innovate their way out of the sticky situation.
The weekend following the release of the circular was a hectic one for the entire Alpha Team at Roqqu as they worked around the clock to calm and reassure their users of the safety of their funds while simultaneously building a sustainable solution for the withdrawal and deposits of funds all the while adhering to the laws put in place by the CBN.
ROQQU, one of the biggest players on the crypto radar in Nigeria with over 500k+ users in no time had its Alpha team launch a decentralized means of trading that ultimately allows users access to their coins without a breach of the CBN directives.
The Alpha Team at Roqqu setup Peer-2-Peer (P2P); a decentralized network that allows you to fund your wallet and make withdrawals without a mediator; a regulatory body such as a bank. The use of the P2P networks comes with a fair size of advantages as it eliminates several problems faced with the use of centralized systems. A few advantages of the P2P network are;
More channels of withdrawals and deposits
P2P exchanges offer a wide range of payment methods, unlike centralized exchanges that usually only accept bank deposits and wire transfers that can be quite cumbersome.
Also, in line with the CBN directive, many banks will not accept withdrawals from or make deposits to, centralized exchanges. With P2P trading, you are transferring to and from bank accounts that the banks do not associate with cryptocurrency.
Increases Blockchain Knowledge
The use of P2P channels improves the interaction between crypto traders and hence causes an increase in the conversations circling the crypto world. These conversations leave cyberspace and penetrate the grassroots as users begin to feel more involved in blockchain technology leading to growth in the crypto market.
Many of us have had the “pleasure” of depositing a cheque only to wait days for it to clear or had a bank transfer even domestically take more than a day. International transfers are often far worse depending on a multitude of factors that are relatively unpredictable at the best of times.
When using a centralized exchange there are lengthy verification waiting periods which you do not experience on a P2P as KYC is not mandatory. Customer service is often better on P2P platforms as they are focused on each individual’s experience and are invested in the assurance that they will provide a pleasant customer experience for all users.
Other than these advantages P2P offers to crypto traders, it also offers the advantage of creating Job opportunities. The process would require a decentralization of roles in various aspects of the crypto space, one of which is the P2P merchants system. The P2P merchant system is open for anyone to sign up and participate. Our intention is to open up the system to other countries in Africa.
P2P demands that crypto startups looking to adopt this network require more hands on deck to build a more sustainable and reliable P2P network.