Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume, has announced an agreement with the Africa Cup of Nations to become the official and exclusive cryptocurrency and blockchain sponsor for this year’s tournament. which takes place in Cameroon.
Founded in 2017 and registered in the Cayman Islands, Binance is the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, process $76 billion worth of crypto per day.
Its Afcon sponsorship is another step in the company’s quest to strengthen its presence in Africa. In 2018, the company launched a crypto trading platform in Uganda.
“With a population of 1.2 billion Africans and the prevalence of blockchain technology and its use cases, we believe the African continent could lead the future of the blockchain industry,” Yi said. He, co-founder and CMO of Binance, in an announcement of the agreement.
Afcon sponsorship is a unique opportunity for Binance
The Africa Cup of Nations is the biggest sporting tournament on the continent. It is broadcast in more than 160 countries around the world, with an audience of more than 300 million people. Binance seeks to bring attention to Africa’s most popular sport to drive crypto and blockchain adoption and enable greater access to financial services for the continent’s unbanked.
As part of the agreementBinance will also be the official partner of the Assist of the Day, Binance Assist of the Week, and Binance Assist of the Tournament segments that Confederation of African Football, the tournament organizer, will promote on its social media channels and at the six venues in five cities in the West African country.
Africa is a fast growing region for crypto adoption
East Africa the third fastest growing (pdf) region for crypto adoption, growing over 1,200% in value received from July 2020 to June 2021, according to Chainalysis, a platform that provides blockchain data.
A trend driving the use of crypto in Africa is the growth of peer-to-peer (P2P) cryptocurrency exchanges, where users trade directly with each other, Chainalysis said (pdf). Africa leads the world in P2P usage, accounting for 1.2% of all African transaction volume and 2.6% of all Bitcoin volume.
Africans use this type of trade to protect cross-border remittances and businesses from high transfer fees and currency weakening risks. Besides running an exchange platform, Binance has a P2P platform known as Binance B2P.
Binance could also seek to tap into the young, internet-savvy population in Africa. Sports could be a lever for crypto adoption as many sports fans are already using their smartphones for sports betting. A 2017 GeoPoll survey found that up to 54% of young people in sub-Saharan Africa between the ages of 17 and 35 have engaged in sports betting. This demographic could be an easier target market for crypto adoption.
Binance positions itself for Africa
Africa is “a hot market” for crypto, blockchain, Web3 startups and Binance is positioning itself for this region, says Nairobi-based blockchain analyst Michael Kimani. He adds that Binance is special because it has both an exchange and a P2P marketplace.
“They are in a very good position to be one of the biggest crypto companies in Africa,” says Kimani, who is also co-founder and head of growth for Africa at Fonbnk, a fintech company.
In Africa, Binance competes with platforms such as Yellow Card, Luno, Buycoins Africa, Paxful, LocalCryptos, LocalBitcoins and Remitano.
Although crypto is growing in popularity in Africa, most countries on the continent have still not regulated it, with some, including Nigeria, even banning its use. The lure of currencies and the lack of regulation has created a lucrative ground for scams, with Africans losing millions of dollars in scams.
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