Nigerians will be able to buy bitcoins with cash, providing a pathway into cryptocurrency for those who were previously financially excluded.
The country has seen more interest than usual in cryptocurrency, with the tech-savvy newer generations of Nigeria oft-asking Google about how to get into bitcoin. But around half of the 200 million residents of Nigeria are still unbanked, and, combined with the category of the underbanked, that number jumps to almost two-thirds.
According to data from the World Bank, only around 40 percent of adults in Nigeria have access to a bank account of some kind. The 2018 Global Findex report showed that nearly one in 10 Nigerians gets their wages in cash.
But the issue came for those in Nigeria whose only option for payment was cash. New services such as Yellow Card let Nigerians pay for bitcoin with cash; they can buy vouchers from a merchant and use the 16-digit code to redeem the bitcoin via the mobile app.
Yellow Card CBO Munachi Ogueke said that although Yellow Card typically sees more business from traders with bank accounts, the option to pay with cash is still doing well, too. And the company has plans to expand around the country by adding thousands more stores to its network.
Previously, ZenGo’s function was to let users hold, send and receive crypto assets. But now, it will function more like a savings account.
ZenGo is partnering with two decentralized finance companies for the project, which will now allow ZenGo users to open their savings tabs, pick an asset such as Dai, and select what percentage of earnings one wants to set aside.
Users can access their savings account-style features at any time through the app and see their total earned interests. They can move their money from those projects back to a wallet at any time.