In one small step toward wider adoption of cryptocurrencies, a small business in Nigeria claims to be the first in all of Africa to trade bitcoin for Nigeria’s national currency, the Naira, using PundiX’s (NPXS) in-house hardware Point of Sale terminal (XPOS).
PundiX released a short video of the event on their social media platforms. The firm completing the transaction is listed on one commercial website as an “Agriculture Importer”, and the transaction was accomplished using both PundiX’s crypto-debit card, the Pundi XPASS, and the XPOS together.
PundiX’s line of products are designed to facilitate and streamline the purchase of goods and services using cryptocurrencies, in physical shops and points of sale. The crypto-company is based in Singapore and has more than 150 employees as of August, 2018, according to their website.
Michael Lawal, Business Development Manager at PundiX and featured in the short video, laid out his case for cryptocurrencies — and PundiX — in Africa in a Medium article. He points to high inflation rates in African countries, high volumes of remittances coming into the continent from abroad, and Africa’s already-completed “mobile payments revolution” (probably having in mind services like M-Pesa, the very successful Vodafone-owned micropayment mobile-phone platform) as arguments for cryptocurrency adoption in Africa in particular.
The status of acceptability of cryptocurrencies and crypto-assets in Nigeria has been uncertain. CryptoGlobe reported earlier this year that the Central Bank of Nigeria warned the country’s banks from using or transacting with any cryptocurrencies, although there seems to be no explicit illegality in doing so.
In Africa more broadly, BitPesa, a Kenya-based digital asset exchange and payment service, recently partnered with prominent Japanese financial services company SBI Group to facilitate payments between Japanese and African entities. The partnership hopes to leverage the speed and independence of cryptocurrencies as a medium of exchange between Japanese yen and various African nations’ currencies, instead of more regulated and restrictive global reserve currencies like dollars or euros.
PundiX will attend the Blockchains for Sustainable Development conference, hosted by the UN Conference on Trade and Development, later this month. Some heavy hitters in the crypto industry will be in attendance, such as Binance’s Changpeng Zhao (“CZ”), as well as representatives from IBM, UNICEF, and the European Parliament among others.