Coinbase Expands into Africa with Yellow Card

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  • Coinbase has expanded into Africa through a partnership with stablecoin exchange Yellow Card
  • The move will enable millions to access USDC on its Base blockchain with cost-effective, fast transactions
  • The development follows a year after Strike tested its Send Globally product in three African countries.

Coinbase has announced expansion into Africa thanks to a partnership with African stablecoin exchange Yellow Card. The move is part of Coinbase’s “Go Broad, Go Deep” strategy that it says will allow millions of users to gain access to USDC on its Base blockchain with “fast, reliable transactions at fees of less than half the cost of fiat transfers.” Coinbase says that the deal will allow it to offer crypto services to 20 countries across the continent, and comes a year after Strike revealed it was trialing its Send Globally product in three African countries.

Coinbase Taps Into 20 Countries

Coinbase revealed its partnership in a blog post yesterday, where it said that its Coinbase Wallet is set to provide users in 20 African countries, representing 52% of the continent’s population, giving them the ability to purchase USDC directly from the wallet app. The partnership, which will launch its new facility in February, will allow users to send USDC without fees on various platforms, including messaging and social media apps.

The initiative aims to address economic challenges in high inflation and remittance-dependent countries by providing economic freedom through stable cryptocurrencies. Using stablecoins will protect the sender’s money from currency volatility while lowering remittance fees and will facilitate everyday commerce for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that often face hurdles in accessing global financial systems.

Africa is Crypto’s Next Frontier

Coinbase noted that, as many African markets have a younger population, crypto adoption is on the rise, with 47% and 22% of adults in Nigeria and South Africa using or owning crypto in 2022, respectively.

The partnership between Coinbase and Yellow Card reflects a shift towards modern financial systems, leveraging cryptocurrencies to offer faster, more cost-effective, and borderless financial services compared to traditional banking systems, aligning with the preferences of a tech-savvy, mobile-oriented generation.

The announcement also follows the move from Lightning Network payment platform Strike which in December 2022 extended its services to Africa through its Send Globally product, which facilitated immediate and cost-effective bitcoin payments to Nigeria, Kenya, and Ghana from the US, debuted.