Mara, a Pan-African crypto exchange and an official partner with the Central African Republic, has managed to secure a seat in the crypto market in Africa and intends to innovate stringent crypto regulations in the continent. With the new crypto wallet backed by global giants like Coinbase, Ventures, Alameda Research, and Huobi at the forefront, Nigeria and Kenya are the runner-ups to benefit from a $23 million dollar-backed project. The project, headed by Mara, a Nairobi-based financial technology company through a digital ecosystem project, is perceived as a catalyst that will further transform the financial industry in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The Mara wallet, a brokerage app, will allow users to purchase, sell, send and withdraw the world’s top 30 currencies, including fiat currency. With crypto already proving to be an alternative income stream with no credit cap, the project is perceived as more of a long-awaited holy grail that will address economic challenges that seek to reduce income gaps seen in the three layers of the SMME (Small, Micro, and Medium Enterprises) sphere. The app will also provide educational resources focused on cryptocurrencies and finance management.
The project plans to further expand to other regions through a waiting-list process, with countries like Ghana next in line for the invite-only onboarding process scheduled for late 2022. Mara is estimated to have over 3 million users on its waiting list, with Nigeria having the most significant market segment. Currently, the Nigerian market is planned to be gradually onboarded to the wallet brokerage and trading services at the initial launch.
Empowering and upskilling developing countries
The onboarding of the new cryptocurrency wallet will cater to 2 million users from Nigeria and Kenya combined. The project plans to also train 1 million developers across the continent, with blockchain development and Web3 as the main focus of the training. Web3 is a new concept in Africa that offers early technological advancement and a chance to level the playing field with the rest of the developed world. According to an expert at Bitcode Method, Web3 promises a free, open, and decentralized world with technology that includes blockchain, Metaverse, and NFTs. In comparison, Mara wallet differentiates itself from its peers, such as Coinbase, by primarily focusing its objectives on addressing user challenges specific to African needs, such as trading between currencies and money send services.
Co-founder and CEO Chi Nnandi said that “many times when people think about crypto, they think about it purely from a Western perspective, and they think about it purely as a consumer tool for investment.” Nnandi further noted, “I came to crypto because I wanted to resolve a real problem that existed in Nigeria.” According to Nnandi, building a crypto exchange involves interacting with regulators who are at a point where they have to understand how to adopt crypto and how to regulate it. Regarding financial technology, Kenya’s M-Pesa mobile cash transfer service, and Nigeria’s government-issued digital currency, the eNaira, Sub-Saharan Africa is demonstrating to be one of the most prevalent innovative regions. According to Nnandi, there is a massive opportunity for this generation, and the tools have to be built by young people. The region’s population taking the initiative is younger than 30, and certifications from the Mara Academy will be received by students so that they can teach and mentor others in the program. Offering free-of-charge resources on financial literacy, cryptocurrency, Web3, and blockchain education in multiple languages.
Mara wallet also aims to launch Mara Chain, a proprietary layer-1 blockchain solution to run decentralized applications. The project is expected to launch before the end of 2022. The Mara wallet app is obtainable on Google Play and Apple App stores. A pro exchange for experienced users who prefer a complete set of trading and technical analysis will be launched. Once Mara has formally launched, members can invest in crypto and transact in real-time without processing delays or high fees in a few months.
Africa is indeed making great strides in the crypto market, from South Africa declaring crypto assets as financial products to Yellow Card exchange acquiring a crypto licence in Botswana. Additionally, Mara launched a crypto wallet service to address a variety of crypto needs while still being authentically built for African audiences. In Africa, it is evident that the future is bright in the crypto market as we continue to root for Mara wallet App to be successful and work as a guide for future references. We will keep you up to date on the latest developments surrounding this project. We highly advise that you research this project and note that this article is not intended to be taken as legal or investment advice. These are the editors’ opinions or evaluations, and if you require legal advice or recommendations, please consult an authorized financial advisor.