Year In Review – Binance accelerates adoption, education and transparency across Africa
Binance, the world’s leading crypto and blockchain infrastructure provider, with an ecosystem featuring an unmatched portfolio of crypto products, sees continued growth across Africa, making it one of the fastest growing regions for the company.
Increasing Crypto Adoption Across Africa
As a leader in the blockchain industry, Binance continues to innovate and boost new products and services that enable financial accessibility for Africans. Notably, the company recorded a significant increase in Binance Pay users across the continent, highlighting its strong use case and continued uptake. Binance Gift Card also became available in Ghana, making it the first of its kind on the continent.
In August, Binance enabled instant deposits and withdrawals for the South African Rand (ZAR). This launch enabled South African users to make fast payments, secure deposits via Instant EFT, providing a new and competitive fiat gateway for South Africa. In October 2022, Binance also added a fiat gateway for the Nigerian Naira through Cashlink. Following the fiat gateway launch, Nigerian users are now able to withdraw & deposit NGN directly to and from their wallets, enabling greater financial accessibility for African users.
Complementing increased adoption across the region, the blockchain giant also strengthened its presence in the East African, South African and Francophone African markets with new hires including new regional leads, Nadeem Anjarwalla (East Africa Regional Director) and Hannes Wessels (South Africa Regional Director) to head business operations in their respective regions. Overall, the Africa team more than doubled in size, highlighting the company’s focus on the region and the holistic crypto-forward mindset of the African continent.
Highlighting Binance’s efforts in the region, Founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) said: “Fueled by a strong appetite across African nations for a transformational system that drives innovation and financial inclusion, the African continent has the potential to lead the blockchain sector in the future. The multiple applications and use cases have been instrumental in accomplishing previously unimaginable feats for Africans. As a company, Binance is extremely grateful for the trust and partnership of Africans, and proud of our efforts in driving blockchain adoption and enabling greater financial accessibility for people in the region.”
Education as a Core Mission
Education has been at the heart of Binance’s mission across Africa and as of December 2022, the Binance Masterclass has now provided free crypto education to hundreds of thousands of Africans across the region – setting the benchmark for Binance and the industry globally. The company has also hosted over 300 offline and online education events to drive its mission.
In line with ongoing efforts for equality of access, Binance Africa launched a number of initiatives targeting the education of women such as the first-ever Blockchain for Women Bootcamp. From the 8-week bootcamp, 300 women graduated, equipped with the blockchain education, tools and skills needed to thrive and bring value to the space as part of Binance’s continued efforts to make crypto learning inclusive for all through both online and offline platforms.
Binance also launched a first-of-its-kind crypto hub in Cameroon and Africa, creating a smoother, safer and more hands-on experience for Binancians and crypto beginners at large. The hub also houses regular skills training sessions, enabling many to learn new skills in order to remain employable globally.
Later in the year, the Binance Charity x Utiva Scholarship Initiative was also launched and is set to educate 50,000 young people across Africa in technology and provide scholarships for 1,000 Africans in a 1-year intensive skill training program. The collaboration aims to build a path for economic prosperity for the continent through skill training, virtual education workshops, mentoring sessions and access to vast job opportunities in the technology and Web3 space.
Championing Transparency, Trust and Regulatory Compliance
Over the course of the year, Binance has continued to show its commitment to compliance, security and the support of innovation as essential pieces to establishing trust in the industry, leading to long-term growth in Africa and beyond.
This year saw Changpeng Zhao (CZ), the founder and CEO of Binance, visiting Ivory Coast and Senegal as part of his tour to connect with Binancians across the world and collaborate with policymakers. CZ’s stay in the region involved meetings with Alassane Dramane Ouattara, President of Ivory Coast and Macky Sall, President of Senegal, amongst others. These meetings were instrumental in promoting understanding of the space, discussing regulatory frameworks and establishing channels for international cooperation.
Additionally, in order to share knowledge on the best practices in tackling cybercrime, Binance recently participated in the 9th Africa Working Group Meeting on Cybercrime for Heads of Units in Rwanda with plans to lead on a number of security workshops across Africa for 2023.
On the global front, Binance’s launched its Global Advisory Board (GAB), comprising of distinguished experts in public policy, government, finance, economics, and corporate governance. Nigeria’s Ibukun Awosika and South Africa’s Leslie Maasdorp represent the African continent on the board, providing much more localised contributions on the toughest and most sensitive regulatory and compliance issues facing crypto, blockchain, and Web3 in the region.
The company also topped up its Secure Asset Fund for Users (SAFU) to US$1B, the emergency insurance fund that was set up to protect Binance users in extreme situations.Alongside this, the Industry Recovery Fund was also set up to aid in rebuilding the industry and further protect users. Binance also released its Proof of Reserves (PoR) System and an update using the Merkle Tree data structure for users to verify holdings. The new PoR site was designed to show that Binance, as a custodian, is holding client funds in full, with reserves. People will be able to check the site and see Binance’s Proof of Reserves, showing Binance’s reserve ratio alongside customer liabilities.
It’s been a remarkable year of innovation at the company and Binance continues to ensure financial accessibility while promoting safety, compliance and collaboration in Africa and beyond.
Binance is the world’s leading blockchain ecosystem and cryptocurrency infrastructure provider with a financial product suite that includes the largest digital asset exchange by volume. Trusted by millions worldwide, the Binance platform is dedicated to increasing the freedom of money for users, and features an unmatched portfolio of crypto products and offerings, including: trading and finance, education, data and research, social good, investment and incubation, decentralisation and infrastructure solutions, and more.