NIGERIA – Cowrie, a Nigeria-based fintech platform facilitating crypto remittance transfers, has secured US$750,000 investment from Stellar Development Foundation Foundation (SDF), the foundation of the network that supports the cryptocurrency Stellar (XLM).
According to SDF, the investment provides resources for Cowrie to continue its expansion into operations in emerging markets, such as blockchain, and thus be able to further develop payment corridors both inside and outside Africa, with an initial focus on Nigeria highlights the note, due to its status as the largest economy in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“SDF has been a vital partner in our mission to bring efficient cross-border payments to West Africa,” said Gbubemi Agbeyegbe, co-founder of Cowrie. Bayo Adeniji, CEO of fintech, also commented and said he was excited to be able to continue to provide B2B cross-border payment services between Nigeria, Europe and the US and in full compliance with Nigerian laws.
The Foundation stressed that the investment comes at a time of regulatory uncertainty and public debate about cryptocurrencies in the country, in light of the attacks by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
He also added that Cowrie has been approaching relevant regulators to try to persuade them to create an appropriate regulation for companies in the cryptocurrency sector in the country.
Denelle Dixon, SDF’s CEO, said the Foundation is not only supporting the cause financially and is committed to fighting for a correct policy on regulatory issues for blockchain technology. She stressed that the aim is to promote close collaboration and partnership between the public and private sectors.
With the contribution, SDF hopes to facilitate the path of companies like Cowrie, as well as to promote public-private partnerships in search of regulatory clarity in the region.
That’s because since February the Nigerian government has been investing against blockchain, bitcoin and cryptocurrency companies.
In Nigeria, people are increasingly turning to crypto as a store of value and a vehicle for cross-border payments.
But the SDF investment comes after Nigerian authorities recently banned local banks from servicing crypto firms and ordered financial institutions to close bank accounts tied to crypto platforms.
Crypto platforms operating in the country, including Binance and Luno, had to shut down naira deposits and withdrawals. Cowrie halted naira transactions as well. (Luno is a sister company of CoinDesk.)
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