Some Nigerians were shocked when crypto exchange Binance announced that they would be suspending all services in Nigeria on March 8. Despite being scrutinized by regulators before the announcement, many people still wondered how the largest exchange in crypto could simply disappear from the world’s fastest growing market for Bitcoin. adoption. I wasn’t shocked because I had been predicting this for years. Business owners in the Global South are under attack and the front line is a currency war playing out right before our eyes.

I founded NoOnes, a peer-to-peer Bitcoin trading platform based in the Global South, because I foresaw the problems facing the crypto industry. Three years ago I saw this day coming. I knew it would be because I was the CEO of a Bitcoin company based in the United States, and I saw firsthand the financial apartheid and all the regulatory problems. American regulators hold Africans in such low regard that they make rules to suit Westerners and don’t care much about anyone else. I knew it would become increasingly difficult to serve Africans and the rest of the South if my company was based in the US. That’s why I created NoOnes.

My only option was to turn my back on a company I had built into a Bitcoin P2P platform with over 10 million users. The problems I saw then are exploding today, but blaming governments alone is not the way forward. We must understand the pressures our leaders are under, because only when we do can we sit down at the table with them to forge a new path forward. Right now all we have is a group of people calling each other names, and that is not the way forward.

This war is about the financial system and the power to control the levers that decide whose money is good and whose money is bad. Entrepreneurs in the Global South are trapped in their own markets, making even making payments or doing business with neighboring countries difficult. For the average African entrepreneur to scale a business by expanding beyond the African continent is effectively impossible. And now that Binance has left Nigeria, some companies based here are wondering what’s next.

To truly unlock the potential for entrepreneurs in the Global South to create value, we must nurture them and create an environment in which they can flourish. That is only possible if we do what I have been advocating for years: ensure free trade through a free-flowing monetary system. Achieving this won’t be easy, and that’s why I’ve had to make some tough decisions. I had to leave the US, I had to give up a successful company I had created, and I had to start all over again in the Global South.

I know why Binance was forced to leave Nigeria, and I’m sure it will happen to other crypto companies and in other countries. It is almost impossible to run a crypto company or a bitcoin marketplace serving Africa from another continent because you have to be on the ground to see the problems and find the solutions. I knew we couldn’t achieve our mission of helping the unbanked if we didn’t have a local base in the Global South, which is why we established NoOnes here from the beginning. I’m not some crazy guy who gave eight years of my life to a company and then left on a whim. I set up NoOnes so I could be here

moment. Binance may have raised the stakes and gone home, but NoOnes won’t – we’re already home.

I know Nigeria and I know the South because my companies have been active here for years. We now live and work here and listen to what people locally tell us. For example, we hired local Africans to advocate for moderation for Africans, and that’s part of what “boots on the ground” means – instead of a bunch of Americans passing judgment, we use local Africans to make moderation safer and fairer. to make. We do not view Africa – or any part of the South where we operate – as places to plunder. We see Africans as partners and fellow human beings. That’s why we created our affiliate program to share our profits with the people who are part of our company.

I’ve met thousands of tech-savvy Nigerian entrepreneurs and I know there’s a reason for the high level of Bitcoin adoption here. For too long they have been shackled to an unfair global financial system, through financial apartheid that creates money prisons and stifles economic growth. Bitcoin and NoOnes give these entrepreneurs the opportunity to show what they can do when the markets are free and the money can flow. All they need to grow is a level playing field. All they need is an opportunity, a path to success, and when we open an opportunity, they pass right through it. That is why NoOnes does not simply create the best site to buy Bitcoin. We do everything we can to provide them with life-changing opportunities.

When I speak in auditoriums across Africa and explain what is possible with Bitcoin and our peer-to-peer platform, I see people’s eyes light up. When I speak to them one-on-one, I am amazed at the amount of hustle and business acumen they have. Our next step is to make it easier for these entrepreneurs to take their business to the next level. We are building a product that will give local entrepreneurs a huge opportunity to build businesses in their own country for their own citizens, and ultimately keep the profits within their country.

Despite Binance Nigeria’s withdrawal, many opportunities remain. NoOnes was built for these times and we are ready to pick up the slack to help dynamic, smart Nigerians who see the value of Bitcoin and want to be part of this new era of prosperity in the Global South. The battle we face may be tough, but the opportunities on the world’s fastest growing continent are worth it.

This is a guest post by Ray Youssef. The opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.

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