By Moses Nosike
MARA, a Pan-African crypto exchange, recently launched and announced $23 million funding from Coinbase Ventures, Alameda Research (FTX), Distributed Global, TQ Ventures, DIGITAL, Nexo, Huobi Ventures, Day One Ventures, Infinite Capital, DAO Jones (investment DAO backed by Mike Shinoda, Steve Aoki and Disclosure), and nearly 100 other crypto investors, and angels including Amit Bhatia and Hamad Alhoimaizi.
In addition, MARA has also announced a partnership with the Central African Republic, which just passed a bill legalizing Bitcoin as legal tender. As part of this partnership, MARA will become the official crypto partner of the Central African Republic and an advisor to the President on crypto strategy and planning.
MARA’s launch comes at a critical inflection point in Sub-Saharan Africa. Political and economic instability has led to devaluation of currencies across the region, while the current centralized financial system continues to present ongoing obstacles to the development of both local economies and individuals. As a result, food prices have doubled to tripled in some areas and created record-breaking interest rates. These tired systems have prompted a dire need for a decentralized alternative.
MARA’s mission is to become the portal to the crypto economy for the African population. While cutting-edge technologies such as cryptocurrency have shown incredible promise among Sub-Saharan Africa’s predominantly young and technologically-native population, there are considerable hurdles to using them. Many existing global exchanges cannot operate in the region due to regulatory challenges as well as difficulty reaching the African consumer in an authentic way. These barriers to access significantly restrict both the number of people who can participate in the crypto economy and the potential uses for digital currency in the region.
The MARA suite of products addresses a variety of essential crypto-finance needs while complying with local regulations and being built authentically for the African audience. MARA’s products include:
MARA Wallet – a brokerage app offering the crypto-curious user a friendly, distilled experience through which they can buy, send, sell and withdraw both fiat and crypto assets instantly and without any prior crypto knowledge.