A startup, Mara, has raised $23 million in equity and token sales to build a pan-African cryptocurrency exchange, TechCrunchreports.

According to the outlet, the seed funding came from Coinbase Ventures, Alameda Research and Distributed Global.

Venture capital firms, TQ Ventures, DIGITAL, Nexo, Infinite Capital, DAO Joines and about 100 crypto investors also participated in the round.

The company, which has bases in Lagos, Nigeria and Kenya, said it wants to create a portal to the crypto economy for Africans.

Mara’s product suite includes a wallet for users to buy, send, sell and withdraw both fiat and crypto assets; a professional exchange platform for more experienced users; and a Layer-1  blockchain  powered by the native Mara token.

“Mara’s mission is to facilitate a more equitable distribution of capital by providing a decentralized alternative that spans across tribes, class, cultures and countries,” Chi Nnandi, the CEO of Mara, told VentureBeat.

“Our goal is to close the gap in opportunities for Sub-Saharan individuals and establish a financial infrastructure that they can build their lives upon.”

Meanwhile, Mara has clinched a partnership with the Central African Republic (CAR) to advise the country on cryptocurrency strategy and planning.

CAR recently became the first African country to make Bitcoin a legal tender. It is also the second country to do so after the Central American country, El Salvador.

Nnandi said the company is going to advise the President of CAR, Faustin-Archange Touadéra, on how to improve the country’s technology infrastructure to drive widespread crypto adoption.

“So that means advising them to expand internet access and mobile phone adoption and working in an advisory capacity since they’re the first African country to adopt  bitcoin  ,” the CEO explained.

Africa and Crypto Acceptance

According to the Brookings Institution, Africa is the fastest-growing cryptocurrency market among developing economies and the third-largest growing market in the world.

Additionally,Chainalysis’ 2021 Global Crypto Adoption Index ranks Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria among the top 10 countries in the world in terms of cryptocurrency use.

However, not all countries in the continent are open to cryptocurrencies.

According to a report by the United States’ Library of Congress, of the 51 countries across the world that have implemented a ban on cryptocurrencies, 23 are African countries.

While four African countries, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia, have placed an absolute ban on cryptocurrencies, 19 countries, including Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, have placed implicit restrictions on the digital assets.

A startup, Mara, has raised $23 million in equity and token sales to build a pan-African cryptocurrency exchange, TechCrunchreports.

According to the outlet, the seed funding came from Coinbase Ventures, Alameda Research and Distributed Global.

Venture capital firms, TQ Ventures, DIGITAL, Nexo, Infinite Capital, DAO Joines and about 100 crypto investors also participated in the round.

The company, which has bases in Lagos, Nigeria and Kenya, said it wants to create a portal to the crypto economy for Africans.

Mara’s product suite includes a wallet for users to buy, send, sell and withdraw both fiat and crypto assets; a professional exchange platform for more experienced users; and a Layer-1  blockchain  powered by the native Mara token.

“Mara’s mission is to facilitate a more equitable distribution of capital by providing a decentralized alternative that spans across tribes, class, cultures and countries,” Chi Nnandi, the CEO of Mara, told VentureBeat.

“Our goal is to close the gap in opportunities for Sub-Saharan individuals and establish a financial infrastructure that they can build their lives upon.”

Meanwhile, Mara has clinched a partnership with the Central African Republic (CAR) to advise the country on cryptocurrency strategy and planning.

CAR recently became the first African country to make Bitcoin a legal tender. It is also the second country to do so after the Central American country, El Salvador.

Nnandi said the company is going to advise the President of CAR, Faustin-Archange Touadéra, on how to improve the country’s technology infrastructure to drive widespread crypto adoption.

“So that means advising them to expand internet access and mobile phone adoption and working in an advisory capacity since they’re the first African country to adopt  bitcoin  ,” the CEO explained.

Africa and Crypto Acceptance

According to the Brookings Institution, Africa is the fastest-growing cryptocurrency market among developing economies and the third-largest growing market in the world.

Additionally,Chainalysis’ 2021 Global Crypto Adoption Index ranks Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria among the top 10 countries in the world in terms of cryptocurrency use.

However, not all countries in the continent are open to cryptocurrencies.

According to a report by the United States’ Library of Congress, of the 51 countries across the world that have implemented a ban on cryptocurrencies, 23 are African countries.

While four African countries, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia, have placed an absolute ban on cryptocurrencies, 19 countries, including Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, have placed implicit restrictions on the digital assets.