‘Binance will be funding African projects, training developers, craving blockchain adoption’
Emmanuel Babalola is the Africa director at Binance, a cryptocurrency exchange that ranks as one of the world’s largest exchanges in terms of the daily trading volume of cryptocurrencies. In this interview with BusinessDay’s Endurance Okafor, he shares insight on the outlook for the blockchain market in Africa and the role Binance will be playing in deepening adoption. Excerpts:
How do you see the African blockchain industry evolving in 2022 and how is Binance adapting to it?
One of my biggest predictions for 2022 is that the African blockchain ecosystem will mature with more projects playing on the global field. What that means is that African projects will now have a global appeal.
At Binance, we are acting as the catalyst to this future and not just waiting for things to happen. In addition to building the infrastructure, we already have a $1B fund which African projects can take advantage of. Through Bundle, our portfolio company, we’re also driving adoption on the continent by bringing in components of web3 into trading and creating a social trading platform that is accessible to anyone.
In summary, we will be funding African projects, training more developers, and craving adoption in the continent as a whole.
As interest and innovation in DeFi in Africa continue to increase what trends do you think will shape the DeFi space in 2022?
Yes, we will see an increased interest and innovation in DeFi in Africa. One of the biggest things I see taking off is Play-to-earn platforms – platforms that reward users for activity. For Africans, one of the biggest hindrances in getting into the blockchain space is a lack of capital. As these platforms don’t need money to start, they heavily incentivize these users.
We will see more communities of gamers, gaming guilds and the general GameFi community expanding.
As of today, I know of one gaming guild, and I am sure there will be about 10 or 20 next year.
African developers will also play in the global space on a larger scale building global ecosystems. In DeFi, we’ll see more African devs leaving traditional finance to come build and take advantage of the many funds available.
What are some of Binance’s milestones in Africa?
By the end of 2020, over 70,000 Africans were educated in the first year of the launch of our Masterclass. This year, we doubled down on our efforts, providing education resources to over 471,000 Africans in 2021.
In terms of percentage growth across Africa, I can share percentage growth in trade users, trade volume, P2P users and P2P volume.
Over the year (2021), Binance recorded an increase of 3435% in P2P users across Africa and a 1502% increase in P2P trading volumes on the platform.
Additionally, there was a 480% increase in the number of Africans trading crypto on Binance (crypto to crypto trades) and a 589% increase in the trading volumes of African users.
What’s Binance Africa’s focus in 2022?
In 2022, Binance’s focus will generally be focused on driving the mainstream adoption of crypto through investments in the ecosystem, infrastructure building and education. We will not just be focused on the growth of binance.com, we will also be focused on driving people to build on the blockchain and the smart chain.