Binance’s new Bundle app brings social crypto payments to Africa

Leading crypto exchange Binance has launched Bundle—a social payments app aimed primarily at the African market.

Currently, the app allows users to send and receive fiat Nigerian naira (NGN) and cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and Binance Coin (BNB), with “many more fiat currencies” being added in the coming weeks.

“We built Bundle with the digitally native African user in mind,” said Yele Bademosi, the founder of Bundle and the former director of Binance Labs. “They are social, online, and connected across geographical boundaries. They prefer their financial services delivered digitally via mobile apps as opposed to visiting brick and mortar bank branches.”

Making digital assets an everyday utility

According to Bademosi, the main idea behind Bundle was to create a mobile wallet that supports cash and crypto, making digital assets “feel like just another digital financial transaction done on a mobile app.”

Per the announcement, Binance believes that Bundle could “make economic freedom and prosperity a reality for all Africans” and expedite the adoption of crypto on the continent. To achieve this goal, the exchange plans to expand Bundle to over 30 more African countries by the end of 2020 and turn it into a “super-app that becomes an ultimate utility in everyday life for Africans and the world.”

One day after its launch, Bundle has an average score of 3.9 on Google Play, based on eight reviews. Users cited difficulties with adding their bank accounts for naira withdrawal and the overall lack of available cryptos and “off-chain and on-chain exchange/conversion” options as the app’s primary shortcomings.

In September 2019, Bundle received $450,000 from Binance as part of the platform’s incubation program.

Is Africa the “new frontier” for crypto?

Jason Deane, an analyst at Quantum Economics who also has experience working with crypto exchanges in South Africa, told Decrypt that the continent is considered by many to be the “next big thing” in terms of crypto development and adoption.

“Two major operators, Luno and VALR, are already based there, Binance is increasing its presence and Jack Dorsey is physically moving to the continent, purportedly to develop opportunities in the space. However, many Africans lost out in the OneCoin scam, especially in Uganda, and the skepticism level has risen in some areas as a result,” Deane explained to Decrypt.

In 2018, the United Nations’ magazine Africa Renewal also published an article titled “Africa could be the next frontier for cryptocurrency.” The publication cited various experts predicting that cryptos are “a disruptive innovation that will blossom on the continent.”

“Africa is rarely mentioned among the largest markets for cryptocurrency, but it may be set to steal a march over other markets,” said business and technology journalist Rakesh Sharma at the time.

As Decrypt reported yesterday, decentralized finance crypto bank Dharma has also released its Social Payments—a new way for users to send DAI stablecoins to anyone who has a Twitter handle.

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