Crypto exchange giant FTX has partnered with AZA Finance, the payments firm formerly known as BitPesa, to grow the web3 economy on the African continent.
The partnership will explore five key areas for web3 development in Africa, including offering support for deposits and withdrawals using African fiat currencies on the global FTX platform, according to a statement on Wednesday.
It will also work to improve Africa’s web3 infrastructure while creating useful learning and networking resources for participants in the region. FTX and AZA Finance also plan to launch African digital currency trading pairs.
The fifth area of the collaboration involves non-fungible tokens (NFTs), with FTX planning to onboard African NFT artists to its marketplace.
Established back in 2013 as BitPesa, AZA Finance is the latest African crypto and payments company to attract interest from FTX in the latter’s push to establish a footprint on the continent. In November 2021, FTX led a $150 million Series C extension for African remittance unicorn Chipper Cash.
Given the emerging nature of the web3 space, regulatory clarity is still lacking in many jurisdictions in Africa. Commenting on the problems posed by this situation, Elizabeth Rossiello, founder and CEO of AZA Finance, told The Block that her company continues to work closely with state agencies on the continent.
“We have stringent controls and are licensed now by central banks and Financial Conduct Authorities on three continents. We are looking forward to partnering with FTX to further expand its presence in Africa. Our strategy is to work closely with all regulators to ensure that any work in the African market in this regard is fully compliant and in the best interest of African users,” Rossiello added in a statement to The Block.