Four months after revealing its intentions to open a branch in Uganda, cryptocurrency exchange Binance has announced the official launch of the platform.
The company said in a press release on Monday that it had already started account verification procedures on Binance Uganda, while deposits will be enabled at 10:00 AM Uganda Time (EAT) on Wednesday, October 17. The exchange will initially support BTC/UGX and ETH/UGX trading pairs, with more to be added in future. The start time for trading will be released in a later announcement, Binance noted. It added that users would be exempted from trading fees for the first month.
Binance Uganda will run as an exchange independent from the mother company, but run in exactly the same way as the existing platform, utilizing the same regulatory framework, security and system of operation. In terms of the technical capabilities, the new branch can undergo 1.4 million transactions per second and will feature 24/7 live customer support.
“We are extremely proud to officially launch our first fiat-crypto exchange in Uganda,” Binance CFO Wei Zhou stated. “We have been diligently preparing for this exchange with our local partners since our team first visited Uganda in April 2018. This is only the first step in our efforts to use blockchain technology to support sustainable economic development in Africa, and we look forward to bringing more innovations to the region.”
Explaining its choice of destination, Binance said that Uganda has become a first-mover in blockchain adoption. With a population of over 44 million, the country is home to key blockchain conferences, associations, and communities, with strong support from its government and regulators, the company remarked.
The Binance Uganda launch marks the first step in expanding cryptocurrency trading into the unbanked world, which will allow 89% of the country’s native population who currently have no access to financial services to own cryptocurrencies for the first time. As noted by Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao in an interview in June, “crypto has a very strong use case in less developed countries”.
The exchange intends to tap further into the opportunities offered by unexploited markets, continuing its expansion in Africa. Binance has also recently unveiled plans to launch fiat-to-crypto exchanges in Singapore, Malta and Lichtenstein.