- Bitmama started as a WhatsApp group where members learned about crypto, particularly bitcoin, and made transactions.
- Bitmama expanded its clientele from 20,000 users to 70,000, adding various products like Bitmama Exchange and Changera.
- The Nigerian crypto exchange recently announced a temporary suspension of its deposits.
The African crypto sphere has steadily expanded significantly in the past decade. Unfortunately, in the aftermath of the FTX fiasco, the industry suffered significant losses, with crypto traders pulling away from the sector and almost liquidating the ecosystem. During this period, plenty of African crypto exchanges suffered immense losses. To survive, some underwent drastic changes while others were forced to shut down.
Unfortunately, over the 2023 crypto market, the African crypto market has been significantly culled, leaving only those with firm foundations and quite adaptable skillsets. Fortunately, amid the anticipated crypto bull run, a positive light is shed on the African crypto sphere as the remaining exchanges have recorded a significant boost in activity. Despite this positive trend, many exchanges have opted to bolster blockchain security and KYC.AML compliance policies to boost trust in their respective areas.
In recent news, Nigerian crypto exchange Bitmama temporarily suspended deposits due to ongoing third-party maintenance. This sudden shift caused panic among its clientele, but they have reassured that the suspension is only temporary and was scheduled as an industry-standard precautionary measure.
Bitmama, an upcoming titan in the African crypto sphere
The African crypto sphere IS one of the world’s fastest-growing crypto markets. In under a decade, the region has showcased significant growth in trading volume and its adoption rate. Today, various African governments have considered tapping into their region’s growing crypto ecosystems, leading to plenty of research exploits. Amid this positive trend, a few names must appear as they have dominated the African crypto sphere since Bitcoin first gained global recognition.
Nigeria’s crypto ecosystem is one of the best and largest crypto spheres’ in Africa. The region has one of the best trading volumes in Africa, featuring as a top contender in the global crypto community. In addition, the area has one of the highest numbers of African-based crypto exchanges, rivalled only by Kenya and South Africa. Amid its positive ecosystem, Bitmama has carved its name through its numerous payment solutions and transparency.
Since 2019, Ruth Iselema, Adam Umar, and Akinbola Asalu have dedicated their life, resources, and networks to building Bitmama to its current position. According to its founders, it started as a WhatsApp group where members learned about crypto, particularly bitcoin, and made transactions.
The discussions, debates, and innovations that circulated within the group formed the core principles Bitmama embodies today. Eventually, the founders came to their ideas and built a crypto exchange platform tailored to the needs and requirements Nigeria’s crypto ecosystem desperately needed.
In an interview, Iselema said, “We started Bitmama to make it easy for anyone across the African continent to buy and sell cryptocurrency. But as time passed, we saw a couple of use cases we could employ this technology to solve. Many people wanted to make transactions aside from buying and selling crypto, so we built stuff to let them buy local and international airtime and data. Then, due to local bank card limitations of $20 monthly spend, we provided virtual dollar cards for Nigerians to make international purchases.”
The Nigerian Crypto exchange grew significantly, catching the of top investors like Unocorn Groth Capital, Adaverse, Flori Ventures, Tekedia Capital, GreenHouse Capital, and many more. In 2022, it landed a $2 million seed round of funding after demonstrating its unique approach to improving the African crypto sphere. Within the same year, it expanded its clientele from 20,000 users to 70,000, adding various products like Bitmama Exchange and Changera.
Bitmama utilized this funding to overhaul the capabilities of their social payments solution, Changera, and customers using stablecoins to facilitate remittances and international payments. In addition, it has secured a partnership with Neftix and Amazon to introduce a crypto payment gateway that accepts stablecoins for both applications.
Fortunately, its fame significantly cushioned the Nigerian Crypto exchange from the after-effects of the FTX crash. However, Bitmama had to make some changes to survive, and its recent security update is among them.
Panic rises as Bitmama halts its deposits.
The Nigerian crypto exchange Bitmama recently announced a temporary suspension of its deposits. This comes as a shock as the crypto community is still on edge, fearing a similar scenario as the 2022 crypto crash. This announcement aligns with scheduled maintenance as its deposit has faced numerous issues in the past few months.
As suggested by some users, its deposit functionality has experienced several problems dating as far back as November 25. Unfortunately, it had yet to address the issue, thus creating suspicion about its functionalities. The Nigerian crypto exchange has reassured its clientele that the third-party maintenance was scheduled and that halting the deposit would not indicate financial instability but rather an industry-standard precautionary measure.
Bitmama did, however, clarify that earlier media reports lacked context, raising suspicion within their user base. They went ahead to convey detailed information, stating, “Ensuring the security of your funds is our top priority. We apologize for any confusion caused by recent media reports. We are working to expedite maintenance for a swift return to normal deposit functionality.“
The Nigerian Crypto exchange has also said, “We have allocated additional technical resources to expedite the resolution process. We are focused on addressing any challenges related to delayed deposits and are committed to providing regular updates.”
Bitmama holds considerable influence over Nigeria’s crypto ecosystem. This sudden change initially rattled its user base, but after clearing out the misunderstanding, it may have prevented a liquidity crisis similar to FTX.