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MARA to Build Pan-African Crypto Exchange, Advise CAR’s President

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A startup, Mara, has
raised $23 million in equity and token sales to build a pan-African
cryptocurrency exchange, TechCrunch reports.

According to the outlet,
the seed funding came from Coinbase Ventures, Alameda Research and Distributed
Global.

Venture capital firms,
TQ Ventures, DIGITAL, Nexo, Infinite Capital, DAO Joines and about 100 crypto
investors also participated in the round.

The company, which has bases in Lagos, Nigeria and Kenya, said it wants to create a portal to the
crypto economy for Africans.

Mara’s product suite
includes a wallet for users to buy, send, sell and withdraw both fiat and
crypto assets; a professional exchange platform for more experienced users; and
a Layer-1 blockchain powered by the native Mara token.

“Mara’s mission is to
facilitate a more equitable distribution of capital by providing a
decentralized alternative that spans across tribes, class, cultures, and
countries,” Chi Nnandi, CEO of Mara, told VentureBeat.

“Our goal is to close
the gap in opportunities for Sub-Saharan individuals and establish a financial
infrastructure that they can build their lives upon.”

Meanwhile, Mara has also clinched a partnership with the Central African Republic (CAR) to
advise the country on cryptocurrency strategy and planning.

CAR recently became the first African country to make Bitcoin a legal tender. It is also the
second country to do so after the Central American country, El Salvador.

Nnandi said the company
is going to advise the President of CAR, Faustin-Archange Touadéra, on how to
improve the country’s technology infrastructure to drive widespread crypto
adoption.

“So that means advising
them to expand internet access and mobile phone adoption and working in an
advisory capacity since they’re the first African country to adopt bitcoin,”
the CEO explained.

Africa and Crypto Acceptance

According to the
Brookings Institution, Africa is the fastest-growing cryptocurrency market
among developing economies and the third-largest growing market in the
world.

Chainalysis’ 2021 Global Crypto Adoption Index also ranks Kenya, South Africa, and Nigeria among the top
10 countries in the world in terms of cryptocurrency use.

However, not all
countries in the continent are open to
cryptocurrencies.

According to a report by
the United States’ Library of Congress, of the 51 countries across the world that have
implemented a ban on cryptocurrencies, 23 are African
countries.

While four African
countries, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia, placed an absolute ban on
cryptocurrencies, 19 countries, including Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, placed implicit restrictions on the digital assets.

A startup, Mara, has
raised $23 million in equity and token sales to build a pan-African
cryptocurrency exchange, TechCrunch reports.

According to the outlet,
the seed funding came from Coinbase Ventures, Alameda Research and Distributed
Global.

Venture capital firms,
TQ Ventures, DIGITAL, Nexo, Infinite Capital, DAO Joines and about 100 crypto
investors also participated in the round.

The company, which has bases in Lagos, Nigeria and Kenya, said it wants to create a portal to the
crypto economy for Africans.

Mara’s product suite
includes a wallet for users to buy, send, sell and withdraw both fiat and
crypto assets; a professional exchange platform for more experienced users; and
a Layer-1 blockchain powered by the native Mara token.

“Mara’s mission is to
facilitate a more equitable distribution of capital by providing a
decentralized alternative that spans across tribes, class, cultures, and
countries,” Chi Nnandi, CEO of Mara, told VentureBeat.

“Our goal is to close
the gap in opportunities for Sub-Saharan individuals and establish a financial
infrastructure that they can build their lives upon.”

Meanwhile, Mara has also clinched a partnership with the Central African Republic (CAR) to
advise the country on cryptocurrency strategy and planning.

CAR recently became the first African country to make Bitcoin a legal tender. It is also the
second country to do so after the Central American country, El Salvador.

Nnandi said the company
is going to advise the President of CAR, Faustin-Archange Touadéra, on how to
improve the country’s technology infrastructure to drive widespread crypto
adoption.

“So that means advising
them to expand internet access and mobile phone adoption and working in an
advisory capacity since they’re the first African country to adopt bitcoin,”
the CEO explained.

Africa and Crypto Acceptance

According to the
Brookings Institution, Africa is the fastest-growing cryptocurrency market
among developing economies and the third-largest growing market in the
world.

Chainalysis’ 2021 Global Crypto Adoption Index also ranks Kenya, South Africa, and Nigeria among the top
10 countries in the world in terms of cryptocurrency use.

However, not all
countries in the continent are open to
cryptocurrencies.

According to a report by
the United States’ Library of Congress, of the 51 countries across the world that have
implemented a ban on cryptocurrencies, 23 are African
countries.

While four African
countries, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia, placed an absolute ban on
cryptocurrencies, 19 countries, including Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, placed implicit restrictions on the digital assets.

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