A Bitcoin exchange service named Bitkoin Africa has been launched in Nigeria and it is up and running.
The launch, which took place at the weekend, is as a result of several months of development and testing by a team of Nigeria-based programmers led by Timi Ajiboye.
Specifically, Bitkoin.Africa seeks to provide legitimate trading opportunities for local cryptocurrency holders in Nigeria and on the continent.
The platform boasts an automated escrow service and the ability to buy Bitcoin using Visa and MasterCard, claims Ajiboye.
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The service has complete support for Nigeria and partial (buying only) support for all other countries.
The service thus come as a relief to local holders of the cryptocurrency who have been sidelined by spurious regulatory warnings from both the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC). Both regulators have publicly come out to discourage transactions in cryptocurrency.
BitKoin Africa is expected to further negotiates the path of cryptocurrency into the legal books of Nigeria, following the opening of Shopnow.ng, an e-commerce site selling several products and accepting only Bitcoin as payment method.
However, the first challenge for the service is establishing an acceptable value for exchanging Bitcoins. While the newly established Bitkoin.Africa uses a N1,650,000/Bitcoin exchange rate, Shopnow.ng quotes a N650,000/Bitcoin exchange rate for transactions.