It will be the official cryptocurrency partner of the Central African Republic. This is the second country to legalize Bitcoin.
MARA, a pan African crypto exchange, has announced its launch today. It was also supported by a $23,000,000 raise from Backers such as Coinbase Ventures and Alameda Research ( FTX), and Distributed Global.
It also announced that it had signed a deal with the Central African Republic to become their official crypto partner. This Central African Republic was the second country to adopt Bitcoin as legal currency.
The platform stated that it would act as an advisor for President Faustin Arche Touadera regarding crypto strategy.
MARA targets traders and consumers with a range of products it claims are specifically designed for African audiences. The platform’s executives claim that it will be Africa’s gateway to crypto-economics at a time of economic instability in Africa.
“MARA’s mission” is to promote a more equitable distribution and capital. It does this by offering a decentralized alternative that crosses over tribes, classes, cultures, countries, said Chi Nnadi (co-founder and CEO) in a statement that was included with the news. “Our goal is closing the gap between Sub-Saharan people and establishing a financial infrastructure on which they can build their lives.”
MARA Wallet, a broker app, will be launched in Kenya and Nigeria. It allows users to send, buy, and withdraw cryptocurrency.
Given Nigeria’s ban on crypto transactions, it is not clear how MARA will function in Nigeria. Decrypt reached out to the company in search of clarification.
MARA will launch a professional exchange for traders who are more experienced. It offers a variety of trading options as well as technical analysis tools.
Developers will have a place to create decentralized applications later in the year with the launch of MARA chain ( dapps).
Crypto in Africa
Despite growing adoption, crypto has been subject to regulatory hurdles in Africa. The Nigerian central bank banned financial institutions from dealing with crypto-related transactions in 2021. However, Nigerians continue to use digital currencies with many switching to peer-to_peer platforms.
MARA stated that regulatory issues and difficulties reaching African consumers in an “authentic” way have hindered existing global exchanges operating in the region. It plans to fill that gap.
MARA’s co-founders are Dearg OBartuin and Lucas Llinas Munera. TQ Ventures and Nexo are also backers. Angels like Amit Bhatia as well as DAO Jones, an investment DAO backed in part by Disclosure, Mike Shinoda, Steve Aoki and Disclosure, are also involved.