BitX has been building a global cryptocurrency platform that provides Bitcoin products and services — like wallets, exchanges, merchant integration, and APIs — to consumers, businesses, and developers, particularly in emerging markets. The company’s latest decision to launch operations in Nigeria marks another venture into an emerging market.
Also read: BitX Takes its Bitcoin Services to Indonesia
Headquartered in Singapore, BitX’s decision to launch its services in Nigeria is aimed at exploiting Bitcoin’s potential in Africa’s biggest economy. BitX has been focusing on the African continent since its inception; for that purpose, the company even set up a development team in Cape Town, and also operates one of only two South African Bitcoin exchanges. Previously, BitX partnered with South African payment provider PayFast to provide the largest emerging market Bitcoin merchant roll-out to date, enabling over 30,000 merchants to accept Bitcoin.
Though the company has faced a variety of regulations and infrastructure issues in these markets, BitX has thus far been successful. Earlier, in November of 2014, BitX launched a digital Bitcoin wallet app for Android and iOS devices in the South African market to help people buy and sell Bitcoin without any hassle. The latest decision to enter Nigerian market is an attempt to help over 150 million people take advantage of Bitcoin’s benefits.
BitX CEO: Nigeria has Immense Scope for Bitcoin Technology
Marcus Swanepoel, BitX CEO, believes that Nigeria is a fast-growing and highly entrepreneurial economy. His company was inundated with requests for Bitcoin products and services from consumers, developers, and Nigerian businesses. According to Swanepoel, the business aspect is particularly interesting and his company is currently working with a number of these businesses to bring some exciting new products to the market. He hopes BitX’s services will boost Bitcoin adoption in Nigeria.
Apart from providing easy access to Bitcoin, BitX says it’s implementing stringent security measures for its technology in Nigeria, Kenya, and Southeast Asia. Swanepoel says that his company is spending a significant amount of internal resources on best-in-class compliance and security, and needless to say, the same will apply for the Nigerian market:
“We have very stringent KYC (know your customer), AML (anti money laundering) and fraud detection mechanisms in place and we’re using these proactive measures in all jurisdictions; those with or without clear guidance on the regulation of virtual currencies.”
BitX claims that the clean design of its technologies sits atop an infrastructure built for high-volume stability and secure multi-signature “deep freeze” storage. Additionally, the exchange and wallet functions are kept separate from other BitX services for higher security. Customers can use the basic wallet verifying their email address to send and receive Bitcoin; however, to have access to a full exchange account where they can also buy and sell Bitcoin, users need to comply with additional verification steps.
BitX also claims that it has a strict security policy, where no individual at the company has access to customer funds, and there are regular proof-of-reserve audits. Additionally, the company has two-factor authentication for account holders and also provides a hot wallet with the company’s own reserves. BitX also gives developers access to the public and private APIs to interface with all relevant exchange features.
Presence in Emerging Markets
As a part of its mission to expand globally, BitX is initially establishing operations in 12 countries that include Brazil, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Namibia, Nigeria, Philippines, Poland, South Africa, and Turkey.
Swanepoel says that Bitcoin has huge prospects in emerging and developing markets, as there is global liquidity versus local liquidity, and he believes, in the long run, the latter is going to play the most important role in this ecosystem. According to Swanepoel, people need to try Bitcoin services in their local currency and language, they want to deal with customer service in their region.
Do you think BitX’s expansion into Nigeria is a good move for Bitcoin? Let us know in the comments below!
Disclaimer: The author of the story is neither associated with BitX nor he has any vested interest with the firm.