Mercuryo, an European fintech company that provides fiat-to-crypto-solution, has announced plans to extend its services to Africa.
When the company expanded into the United States in January 2021, it had mooted an African launch. It said, "Mercuryo coverage will soon expand to Africa, Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) before the end of the year".
Mercuryo has two flagship products, a digital asset wallet and a widget that allows easy fiat-to-crypto exchange.
Greg Waisman, Mecuryo's co-founder and COO, said: "Africa is an important region for Mercuryo, as 14% of our total client base are located on the continent, with 10% being from Nigeria. Seeing that the traditional banking system has left many of this region's citizens unsatisfied, Mercuryo is glad to provide a new, better way for African citizens to efficiently manage their finances. And settle transactions rapidly and seamlessly".
The company's app which has over 100,000 downloads on Google Play Store allows smartphone devices to use Mercuryo flagship widget service to convert fiat currency to digital assets in a few minutes.
Founded in 2018, Mercuryo is a cross-border payments network that aggregates a large number of payment solutions across the world and provides fiat and crypto payments and payouts for businesses.
With offices in Tallinn and London, the firm operates a leading global digital asset payment gateway. In addition to a fast-growing customer base of over 600,000 users, Mercuryo has partnerships with prominent crypto enterprises, such as Binance, Bitfinex, Trezor, Bithumb, and over 200 market-makers.
Mercuryo has ambitious plans to scale up globally. It closed a €2.5 million seed funding in 2020 led by a well-established international VC fund, Target Global.
The fintech company has identified the opportunity Africa's crypto space presents to help locals and expand its business to a fast-growing market. With the mission to make cryptocurrencies more accessible for everyone on the globe, Mercuryo offers seamless fiat-to-crypto payment gateway services to both consumers and corporate clients.
Mercuryo believes that cryptocurrencies can't reach mainstream adoption with overly complex products and services. So, it built its product to be convenient enough for the average user to purchase digital assets without any in-depth knowledge of crypto. If customers haven't passed KYC with Mercuryo, they will need to go through a swift procedure during the first transaction by verifying their identities.
This move is undeterred by the latest crackdown by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on cryptocurrency, which has had little to no effect as interest in cryptocurrency in the country surges. However, the animosity towards cryptocurrency is fast changing, with Nigeria's Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) admitting it cannot ignore the country's crypto market. CBN's Director of financial policy and regulation, Kevin Amugo recently revealed that the ban was introduced to give ample time to address the anonymity of crypto transactions, signalling hope for favourable policies in the future.
Reporting is done by Sultan Quadri is a freelance journalist based in Lagos, Nigeria. He is the editor-in-chief of People’s Check, a fact-checking outlet. His work has appeared on IJNet, Stears Business, The Guardian Nigeria, and elsewhere.