Binance launches its first crypto-fiat exchange in Uganda
Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange Binance has chosen East African country of Uganda for the launch of its first fiat crypto exchange.
The new platform, Binance Uganda, represents the company’s first foray into fiat-crypto trading. It will support the Ugandan Shilling (UGX), enabling retail and corporate investors to exchange the national currency for cryptocurrencies.
Binance’s founder and chief executive, Zhao Changpeng, said that only 11% of Uganda’s population has bank accounts and it could prove easier to adopt cryptocurrency as a form of currency instead of trying to push for bank adoption. He added that Binance plans to add two or three more locations in the short term.
Extending the user base
Registrations for Binance Uganda opened on Thursday, and the company says the first 20,000 users to register on the platform will be rewarded with 0.5 Binance Coin (BNB). According to CoinMarketCap, BNB is traded at US$14.2. The issue capped at 10,000 BNB and will be distributed on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.
“As appreciation for the ongoing support from our users, we will provide Binance Uganda users with a month of zero trading fees once trading comes online. The opening of trading will be announced at a later time,” Binance stated on its website.
In an interview with Cointelegraph, Zhao said that the launch “shows Binance is not just into chasing the most developed markets.
“We think that crypto has a very strong use case in less developed countries… there’s more money to be made in a more developed country, but we want to distribute crypto to the rest of the world,” he added.
Zhao suggested that recent volatility on Binance and other crypto exchanges would settle over time as the total market cap of the industry increased. Opening more fiat channels such as the new Uganda venture could help promote more growth.
However, as this would be “the first time Binance has touched fiat,” the exchange will have many know-your-customer (KYC) and anti- money laundering (AML) regulatory questions to address before it could scale further.