Yellow Card, the leading cryptocurrency exchange in Africa, has announced its plans to seek a license in Nigeria following the recent lifting of the cryptocurrency ban imposed by the country’s central bank in 2021.
The ban, initially enforced to combat money laundering and terrorism financing, had restricted financial institutions from engaging in transactions or operating cryptocurrency exchanges.
With the ban now lifted to ensure the nation remains connected to Web3 progress and avoids isolation from the evolving digital landscape, Yellow Card is set on solidifying its position as a prominent and regulated entity on the continent.
Ogochukwu Umeokafor, Yellow Card’s Director of Product Management, confirmed the company’s intention to apply for a license in an interview with Bloomberg. Umeokafor emphasized that obtaining a license would create a regulated environment, fostering business development for the exchange.
While Yellow Card had already initiated the license application process with the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), progress had been hindered by the necessity to maintain a functional corporate account, an obstacle stemming from the earlier stance of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Having gained popularity since its launch in 2019, Yellow Card rapidly expanded its user base from 200,000 in December 2021 to 1 million by March 2022.
This success can be attributed to Africa’s reliance on remittances from abroad, where traditional transactions involve high fees and extended processing times. Converting fiat into crypto through Yellow Card streamlines the process, saving time, effort, and reducing commissions.
Since its inception, Yellow Card has facilitated $1.75 billion in transactions, enabling users to send money to 16 countries across the continent.
To support its growth, Yellow Card has also secured $57 million in funding, including investments from Jack Dorsey’s Block and Valar Ventures, a venture capital firm.