FTX, one of the biggest crypto exchanges by trading volume, has partnered with AZA Finance, a cryptocurrency-focused payment provider company formerly known as BitPesa, in a bid to grow the web3 economy on the African continent.
According to the announcement, the partnership will explore five key areas for web3 development in Africa, including offering support for deposits and withdrawals using African fiat currencies on the global FTX platform.
The partnership will also help to improve Africa’s web3 infrastructure while creating useful learning and networking resources for participants in the region. FTX and AZA Finance also plan to launch African digital currency trading pairs.
What you should know
- AZA Finance, formerly BitPesa, was founded in Nairobi, Kenya and was established in 2013. The company is the latest African crypto and payments company to attract interest from FTX in the latter’s push to establish a footprint on the continent.
- In November 2021, FTX led a $150 million Series C extension for African remittance unicorn Chipper Cash.
- The partnership will also see a collaboration that involves non-fungible tokens (NFTs), with FTX planning to onboard African NFT artists to its marketplace to help grow the African NFT ecosystem.
- Although it gives joy to see well-established cryptocurrency companies like FTX invest in African cryptocurrency-focused companies, the regulatory environment surrounding cryptocurrencies in Africa is widely lacking and very uncertain which poses the risk of the uncertainty of business continuity in the extreme situation of a total ban in the country/region.
What they are saying
Commenting on the problems posed by this situation, Elizabeth Rossiello, founder and CEO of AZA Finance, told The Block that her company continues to work closely with state agencies on the continent.
Elizabeth Rossiello further stated, “We have stringent controls and are licensed now by central banks and Financial Conduct Authorities on three continents. We are looking forward to partnering with FTX to further expand its presence in Africa.
“Our strategy is to work closely with all regulators to ensure that any work in the African market in this regard is fully compliant and in the best interest of African users.”
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