Building Infrastructure To Scale Crypto Adoption In Africa: A Look At Bitmama Platform Streamlining Crypto Exchange And Payment

Adaverse Accelerator
5 min readMay 22, 2023

Amidst the global transformation of transactions, financial inclusion, and economic growth driven by cryptocurrencies, Africa emerges as a region teeming with untapped possibilities. While adoption rates soar in various parts of the world, Africa is steadfastly embracing the power of Web3 tools to shape its own digital economy. Many startups are emerging to drive adoption by addressing local challenges. Bitmama, a crypto exchange and payment platform, is leading the way in promoting widespread cryptocurrency adoption across the continent. Ranked among Africa’s top 10 crypto exchanges, Bitmama sets itself apart with its customer-centric approach.

Bitmama CEO Ruth Iselema joins our host George Payne on BuildUp Africa Podcast S1E9 for an insightful discussion on the extensive reach of cryptocurrencies across Africa. They delve into the challenges and opportunities surrounding cryptocurrency adoption, emphasising the importance of building a robust infrastructure to support its growth. Ruth sheds light on Bitmama’s pivotal role in facilitating seamless cross-border payments, contributing significantly to Africa’s economic development. Tune in as they uncover the potential of cryptocurrencies in Africa and Bitmama’s efforts to drive innovation in the crypto space.

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The State of Crypto in Africa Economy.

In Africa, cryptocurrencies have gained traction and are being utilized in various ways as they play a significant role in addressing specific challenges on the continent. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cardano, USDT (Tether), and USDC (USD Coin) enable fast and cost-effective cross-border transactions, which is particularly beneficial in Africa, where traditional banking systems may be limited. They also provide a secure and accessible solution for remittances, allowing individuals to send money to their families across different countries with reduced fees.

Stablecoins like USDT and USDC offer Africans a reliable and non-volatile means of transacting and storing value by pegging their value to major fiat currencies, reducing the impact of local currency volatility. These cryptocurrencies, among others, are instrumental in driving financial innovation, promoting cross-border transactions, and fostering economic growth in Africa.

Africa’s economic landscape offers fertile ground for the adoption of cryptocurrencies, driven by critical factors such as a sizable unbanked population, volatile local currencies, and a rising interest in financial innovation. Notably, countries like Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, and Tanzania have emerged as global leaders in cryptocurrency adoption, ranking among the top 20 worldwide. However, despite this growing interest, a significant lack of awareness and understanding of cryptocurrencies persists in many African nations, further compounded by limited access to reliable infrastructure.

Although using cryptocurrencies in Africa brings both challenges and opportunities, regulatory uncertainties, inadequate financial infrastructure, security concerns, and market volatility pose obstacles to adoption. However, these challenges also present opportunities for innovation and growth. By addressing these hurdles and harnessing the power of blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies can provide solutions to long-standing issues, including costly cross-border transactions and financial exclusion for the unbanked population.

Unlocking Economic Potential through Cross-Border Payments

Ruth Iselema, an early adopter of cryptocurrencies pre-2017 boom, recognized their immense value in Africa. However, the absence of awareness and reliable exchanges created a breeding ground for scams. As a visionary, Ruth aims to change the narrative, establishing trusted platforms and raising awareness for secure crypto participation on the continent. In 2016, Ruth Iselema introduced Bitmama, an innovative and secure ecosystem for crypto enthusiasts to exchange currencies safely. As stablecoin usage surged, combating inflation and currency devaluation, Ruth’s vision expanded to explore the vast potential of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.

Cross-border payments in Africa’s thriving market hold immense potential, and Bitmama is at the forefront of unlocking new opportunities for cryptocurrency adoption. Unlike traditional remittance channels with high costs and intermediaries, Bitmama provides a streamlined alternative that reduces expenses and increases efficiency. By enabling seamless cross-border transactions, cryptocurrencies have the power to drive international trade, attract investments, and foster local economic growth throughout the continent’s evolving financial landscape.

Bitmama: Scaling Crypto Adoption through Infrastructure Development

Bitmama is a leading crypto exchange platform in Africa, simplifying the process of buying, selling, and storing cryptocurrencies. With a user-friendly interface and robust security measures, Bitmama enables seamless cross-border payments and accelerates crypto adoption on the continent. By bridging the gap between traditional financial systems and cryptocurrencies, Bitmama empowers individuals, propels economic growth, and positions Africa as a global leader in the digital economy.

Bitmama Exchange Offers Unique Products Such as

  1. Virtual Debit Cards: By enabling the use of stablecoins like USDT, Bitmama empowers users to effortlessly fund their virtual transactions and subscribe to popular online platforms such as Netflix, Amazon, AliExpress etc.
  2. Changera Crossborder Payment: A payment platform that has got everyone covered. Individuals can process payments across borders, businesses, and merchants can also complete their payments and remittances.
  3. P2P Exchange: A seamless crypto exchange for instant and P2P models of purchasing cryptocurrency. With their instant and peer-to-peer models, users can purchase cryptocurrencies quickly and securely, making it easier than ever to enter the crypto market.

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In this podcast, Ruth Iselema sheds light on the evolving role of cryptocurrencies in Africa during the podcast session. She emphasizes that cryptocurrencies are now being adopted as practical solutions to address these challenges, extending beyond their reputation as speculative assets. Ruth further highlights the growing prominence of stablecoins, noting their increasing usage surpassing traditional transactions carried out with Visa and Mastercard. This shift underscores the rising importance of stablecoins in providing stability and ease of use in Africa’s financial landscape.

“Generally, I see cryptocurrency adoption growing in Africa especially in DeFi as it offers opportunities to combat unemployment rates in many regions in Africa, and I believe with better regulation, adoption will skyrocket.” — Ruth Iselema.

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