Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has listed the first direct fiat-to-cryptocurrency trading pairs, starting with Nigerian naira (NGN).
Announcing the news on Thursday, Binance said users can deposit NGNs and buy bitcoin (BTC), Binance coin (BNB) and Binance’s native dollar-pegged stablecoin BUSD.
The NGN deposit feature is being offered via U.S.-based payments tech firm Flutterwave. The maximum deposit per transaction is 430,000 NGN (~1,185) and the minimum deposit per transaction is 150 NGN ($0.41), per the announcement. The NGN deposits fees are 1.4%.
When asked why supporting NGN first, a Binance spokesperson told The Block: "Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa with nearly 200 million people - it is absolutely a promising market with great potential. In addition, Flutterwave offers very competitive rates for NGN, and the deposit processing fee is as low as 1.4%."
Flutterwave is headquartered in San Francisco and has offices in Lagos, Nairobi, Accra, and Johannesburg. The firm is backed by notable investors, including Y Combinator. Its clients include Uber and Booking.com, among others, according to information on its website.
The next supported fiat currency would likely be Russian rubles (RUB) as Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao “CZ” announced earlier this week that the functionality will be added, “in about two weeks or so.”
The Block has reached out to Flutterwave for further comment and will update this story if they reply.
UPDATE: This story has been updated to include a response from Binance spokesperson.