- Yele Badamosu, CEO of a VC firm and Director of Binance Labs developed the Bundle app in 2020.
- The Bundle teams announced that it would soon shut down its operations to focus more on the Cashlink app.
- The Nigerian crypto exchange has removed its sign-up option preventing anyone from creating an account.
In seven months, Africa’s crypto industry has faced trying tides. Since the beginning of the crypt winter in Q2 2022, many did not expect the effects to last this long. Since the FTX crash, crypto regulatory bodies have had to take matters into their own hands. The crypto crackdown has gone from trying to protect its users to perceiving crypto exchanges that do not adhere to set regulations.
Unfortunately, existing crypto laws are vague at best and present multiple legal loopholes regulators are exploiting. Many expected that Africa’s crypto ecosystem would somehow survive this crypto lawsuit, but this is far from the truth. Africa’s crypto ecosystem has struggled to survive, and countless crypto exchanges have shut their operations. Recently, the Nigerian Crypto exchange, Bundle app shut down its operations.
As the crypto winter’s latest victim, it begs the question, will our ecosystem truly survive? Or is this the steady downfall the ecosystem will face?
The latest victim in Africa’s crypto industry.
Many experts and researchers within the industry consider Nigeria a thriving ecosystem for the entire web3 industry. It became the first crypto country to develop a CBDC, the E-Naira. In a decade, Nigeria became the home of multiple blockchain-based startups.
Their high adoption rate of web3 has caught the eye of numerous investors. In 2020, Nigerian crypto exchanges and fintech companies acquired $507 million in investments. It has over 140 Fintech startups with additional Crytpo exchanges placing it at the top of Africa’s crypto industry.Bundle app is a popular Nigerian Crypto exchange that significantly assisted in its adoption rate. Yele Badamosu, CEO of a VC firm and Director of Binance Labs developed the Bundle app in 2020. Yele is a prominent figurehead within Africa’s crypto industry since Binance tasked him with developing the continent’s blockchain ecosystem. After creating the Nigerian crypto exchange Yele stepped down, and Emanuel Babalola took over Bundle App.
The Bundle App is a crypto social payment app that seeks to drive the crypto developments of the region. During its launch, Africa’s crypto industry was thriving, causing the Bundle App to gain over fifty thousand downloads in the first four months. It later received a rating of 4.4 on Google Play and would transact over $4.5 million in cryptocurrency.
Aside from offering easy-to-use crypto payment services Bundle App also catered to promoting crypto education among its users. It would later team with the Feminist Coalition and the Female Media Network to offer crypto education in March 2022.
This boosted its user base and enabled its developing team to expand its operation. This led to the development of Cashlink, a P2P infrastructure that aids users on on-ramp and off-ramp wen3 platforms. Unfortunately, its success would later succumb to the pressures of the 2023 crypto winter.
Yele’s project fails again
Despite its fame and popularity, the Bundle App could not keep up with the declining rate of the industry. Recently the Bundle teams announced that it would soon shut down its operations to focus more on the Cashlink app.
According to the Nigerian Crypto exchange, it will phase out in batches to support its operations until its users can withdraw their funds. The Bundle App has a crypto footprint in Nigeria due to its high adoption rate. Unfortunately, the association of Yele and FTX soon found its way to its user base, causing a significant decline in transaction volume.
Fortunately, Bundle Africa, its parent company has stated that it still has no intent on leaving Africa’s crypto industry. Despite the fall of the Bundle App, they have reassured users they will refocus their efforts o the Cashlink application. Bundle App stated, “As Web3 and the blockchain community continue to grow, there is a need to focus on payment solutions that meet the ecosystem’s needs, which is the plan with Cashlink.”
The Nigerian crypto exchange has removed its sign-up option preventing anyone from creating an account. Additionally, users cannot depot assets into their Bundle Wallet, perform asset swaps or make withdrawals using Bundle. Instead, the team has urged users to transfer their funds to a preferred exchange platform.
Africa’s crypto industry crumbling
The Bundle App closure is among many crypto exchanges that have shut down. In under several months, multiple African-focused crypto exchanges have closed their doors due to the crypto winter. Unfortunately, the FTX crash shattered the trust most crypto traders had within the industry. As a result, many users withdrew from the ecosystem, causing a massive influx in the market’s value.
Among the first to fall within Africa’s crypto industry was the Paxful crypto exchange. Pacful was a global Bitcoin market which focused on Africa. This crypto exchange was among the first exchanges to see the potential of Africa. It also had a significant user base within the region.
Unfortunately, shortly after the FTX crash, Ray Youssef announced it closer. According to his statement, regulatory challenges and the harsh crypto winter forced the company to shut down its operation. The crypto crackdown had worsened its situation, thus, to save face and avoid bankruptcy, they threw in the towel.
Lazerpay quickly followed despite many within the industry having high expectations for its CEO. Njoku Emmanual is one of the youngest figureheads in Africa’s crypto industry. At the young age of 19 years, Njoku found his calling within the web3 industry.
His zeal and ingenuity in implementing blockchain technology tricked his crypto exchange, the LazerPay. Unfortunately, Lazerpay had to shut down its operations after struggling to survive within the crypto industry. According to reports, Africa’s crypto industry got so bad that several members within the exchange worked for no pay. This forced the exchange to close, stating it could not overcome its liquidity issues.
LocalBitcoins, a peer-to-peer Bitcoin marketplace, soon followed. The Africa-focused crypto exchange allowed users to buy and sell Bitcoin securely and safely. With the crypto winter, many regulators tightened their leash on crypto laws. Unfortunately, LocalBitcoins could not adhere to the set crypto laws within Nigeria.
As a result, Sebastian Sonntag, its CEO, stated that they had to close their operation to avoid any crypto lawsuits from Nigeria. Localcryptos, formerly LocalEthereum, also met the same fate as LocalBitcoins in Nigeria.
The Bundle App is the recent victim of the crypto winter. Unfortunately, this represents a pattern of failure within Africa’s crypto industry. The high crypto volatility and the harsh crackdown have significantly affected the ecosystem. Today African crypto traders are more sceptical to re-enter the industry, while regulators have found justifiable means to attack the industry. If this trend continues, Africa may never regain its former glory.