By Ayo Onikoyi
Odum Chijioke John, the Founder and CEO of Chiji14xchange, is a proud owner of a platform where users can sell their bitcoins and gift cards and also the first of its kind to have apps on iOS and Google Play Store in Nigeria.
In this interview with AYO ONIKOYI, he talks about intricacies of cryto currency business and how he got hooked in the first place.
Please can you explain better the type of business you do?
We are a platform that for the exchange of bitcoins and gift cards, that is where people can sell their bitcoins and get paid cash, our website is www.chiji14xchange.com and we have our mobile app “chiji14xchange”
Most Nigerians don’t understand the biz of bitcoin and thus have not embraced it well enough. Please can you educate us more on it?
Okay first of all what is bitcoin, Bitcoin is simply a decentralized digital currency or crypto currency that is not controlled by any government or central bank and is that can be sent from person to person through the bitcoin network. This asset totally changes the way we view the traditional currencies and is a great development for the future and I feel people need to understand fully what bitcoin is before trying to understand the business of bitcoin
Now for the business aspect, That is making money from bitcoin I will give a simple illustration, I was introduced to bitcoin around February 2017 and at that time 1bitcoin was worth somewhere around $900 but today the same 1bitcoin is wort $7150 at the time of writing this is a whopping $6200 profit if you bought one then and held till now, I think I can confidently say that no other asset can boast of such growth during this same period, I can go on and on about this talking about when 1bitcoin was $20 and when it got as high as $20,000 but thereâ€™s no need for that, I think looking at my personal movement with this cryptocurrency from 2017 till date we can say itâ€™s a good investment
But for a business that has no regulatory body or policies guiding it, isn’t it much of a risk?
One of the challenges facing the institutionalization of Bitcoin and crypto is compliance with regulatory obligations, but let me state clearly that bitcoin as a digital currency, technology and asset is self regulatory just like the internet, a patchwork of framework is been developed in different part of the world and Nigeria is yet to get a clear direction on regulatory framework for crypto business because of the complexity of the system. Issues to consider are KYC (Know Your Customer) and crypto asset provenance securing crypto assets.
Accounting and financial reporting
But with all these issues, one can still run a crypto business in Nigeria as long as you put in the necessary systems in place to serve users of your service and that is why we are a leading professional exchange in Nigeria. As it stands we have and are still improving on KYC (Know Your Customer) documentations on all our users and all this information is stored securely and discretely according to the laws governing us, So, all we can do is hope that Nigerians and the government embrace this wonderful innovation and grow with the rest of the world, instead of being negligent while the rest of the world are making moves
From the perspective of your business, how would you describe Nigerians attitude to this innovation and the inherent possibilities?
Nigerians are enthusiastic. According to Bitcoin Google search in 2019, Nigeria has the highest search across the globe and that means people here want to really learn and know how to profit from this industry, the only challenge is that many still see it as a get rich quick scheme and that is why they fall for scams and ponzi schemes , we should also note that Nigeria has a very active youth population that are proactive with tech, but the core attitude that will help is when they all embrace sound Crypto education by making adequate research and also learning with respective bodies like cryptohub, Abit and so on
When did you start your company and how has the growth been like?
Even though I had been trading bitcoin from 2017, Chiji14xchange only started full operations on October of 2018, formally on through Instagram and WhatsApp, And we experienced massive growth at the early stages and was top 2 in the business at the short time. We had a lot when many challenges with many fake pages claiming to be the company sprang up on Instagram and this led to our own official account being deactivated. As at this time we were already through with our website and applications and were already present on google play store. Funny thing was that the website launch was just two days away and this happened, as at then we had roughly 30,000 followers on Instagram and we were really set back by this. But the wonderful team kept pushing and I can say that in just around 6 months we have hit over 11,000 active users on our platform, so growth has not been easy, And given the fact that there is almost zero support from the government and we haven’t sort or had any private investor, I can say we have done very well in this short period
Please can you explain in layman language and for the understanding of the man on the street, how to make money from bitcoin?
You can buy and hold, meaning you can buy bitcoin at $7000 and sell later if it hits $8000 this can be done short or long term even daily for smaller profits or loss. You can also buy from people at lower exchange rates and sell higher to chiji14xchange
Cryptotrading: this is like trading stocks in the stock market but this time it is done via multi Crypto exchanges like Binance,Bitmex, bytbit, bittrex, huobi and so on. In this scenario you can use bitcoin for instance, to trade another crypto asset for more gains just like it is in the stock market .The crypto market operates 24/7 than any other market across the globe.