Home » Coinbase- and FTX-backed Mara launches crypto wallet for sub-Saharan Africa

Coinbase- and FTX-backed Mara launches crypto wallet for sub-Saharan Africa

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Mara, a Nairobi-based financial technology company, today announced the launch of Mara Wallet. Mara Wallet is a brokerage app that allows users to buy, send, sell and withdraw fiat and top 30 cryptocurrencies.

Mara Raised The $23 million seed round in May was backed by prominent crypto investors including Coinbase Ventures and FTX-affiliated Alameda Research.

in an interview with luck, Co-Founder and CEO Chi Nnadi said Mara was specifically designed for the African crypto ecosystem through its remittance service and plans for a wide range of financial products, setting it apart from other global exchanges and brokerages. I said I was drawing.

“Often, when people think of cryptocurrencies, they think of it from a purely Western perspective and as a pure consumer tool for investment,” he said. “I came to cryptocurrency because I wanted to solve a real problem that exists in Nigeria.”

Sub-Saharan Africa accounted for the lowest cryptocurrency trading volume of any region included in Chainalysis 2022. Global Adoption Index, grew 16% from last year. Despite its small volume, Chainalysis has found Africa to be one of the most well-developed cryptocurrency markets. This is due to the high consumer penetration and the more frequent use of cryptocurrencies for everyday purchases. Both Nigeria and Kenya rank among the top 20 countries in Chainalysis’s employment index.

According to Nnadi, Mara Wallet currently has over 3 million users on its waiting list, the majority of whom are in Nigeria. At launch, Nigerian users will gradually join the wallet brokerage and trading services. Nnadi said the full product will be rolled out to other countries, including Ghana and Kenya, but did not disclose a timeline.

Screenshot of Mara Wallet.

Courtesy of Mara

Users will receive wallets in local currency and through Marla’s UK entity that will have access to dollars, pounds and euros that can be used to buy and sell crypto. Nnadi declined to provide specific figures, but users will be charged a commission of 0.5% to 1.5% for transactions.

Nnadi described Mara Wallet as more than just a retail wallet or brokerage firm. “It’s really about building crypto infrastructure in Africa,” he said luck.

Compared to its peers such as Coinbase, Mara will meet more needs of African users by facilitating services such as remittances and cross-currency transactions, in addition to building a broader financial ecosystem. Responsiveness is what differentiates them, Nunadi added. The wallet also contains educational tools.

In addition to the wallet, Mara launched the Mara Foundation in partnership with Circle to promote the Web3 developer project. Later this year, we have plans to launch a Layer 1 blockchain called Mara Chain and a native token that developers can build on. Decentralized application.

With Kenya’s mobile money transfer service M-Pesa and Nigeria’s government-issued digital currency, sub-Saharan Africa’s eNaira has proven to be one of the most innovative regions when it comes to financial technology. 70% The region’s population is under the age of 30.

“This generation has a huge opportunity,” said Nadi. “These tools need to be built by young people.”

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