- Xend finance clocks one year, set to expand to Ghana, Kenya.
- How startup has helped Nigerians battle inflation.
- Wicrypt, Xend finance’s latest product that rewards users for sharing internet.
Xend Finance, arguably Nigeria’s first crypto DeFi platform recently celebrated it’s first anniversary in the country as it continues to drive crypto adoption among Nigerians. Ugochukwu Aronu, the CEO spoke in an interview with Cryptopolitan on how the journey has been so far for the startup. Below are excerpts.
Xend Finance recently celebrated its first anniversary, how has the journey been and how would you describe the platform’s growth so far?
It’s been very exciting, yet rough at times as well. We have had to navigate different regulatory landscapes in our move to drive adoption of DeFi, or Decentralized Finance, in Africa and developing regions. However, people realize that they must protect the value of what they earn and we have seen incredible adoption the last few months.
People were searching for an answer to easily convert their local currency to stable cryptocurrency or US dollars, rather than keep what they were earning in devaluing local currency. On top of that, not only are we keeping the value of what people earn, but allowing them to earn 15% interest by harnessing the power of DeFi.
Consider us the premier crypto banking platform in Africa. Our growth to almost 100,000 users in about four months and our upcoming expansion into Ghana and Kenya has given us great courage in our drive.
What are the reactions you’ve gotten so far? Have Nigerians responded positively to the DeFi project?
We have seen mixed reactions but the majority is positive. Nigerians are very excited that we have built a product that tackles their existing problem of inflation directly without exposing them to any risk, as their assets are completely insured.
How have Nigerians and people in other underdeveloped regions benefited from the DeFi project?
They have benefited by being able to convert their local and unstable currencies to a stable cryptocurrency pegged to the US dollar. This is the first line of defense against inflation.
They have also benefited by earning an average of 15% APY on their deposits in US Dollar-denominated cryptocurrency. They have also gotten full insurance coverage on all funds deposited. Usually in Nigeria, the NDIC ( Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation ) insures only 500,000 naira or approximately $900 on all your deposits, but we give full coverage and they love it.
Xend Finance has been carrying out youth-focused initiatives in Nigeria universities; what motivated this?
In any economy, the young people drive growth of the economy. Over 60% of Nigeria’s population are young and the best way to educate these young people is by meeting them in their place of education, which is in the universities. This is the reason why we have a major focus in universities in Nigeria and other parts of Africa.
What are some of the challenges you faced onboarding users?
Users think it’s too good to be true and have fears of losing their funds. Users who have never heard of cryptocurrency and the blockchain will require some education and we have to ensure they understand what it all means
What are the plans for Xend Finance Token ($XEND); Is it going to be listed on some major exchange soon?
Listing the $XEND token on major exchanges is something we are working on as it will give more users in different parts of the world more access to our project and the products we have built. There are many exchanges that people can currently purchase our token and those can be found on our home page: https://xend.finance/
How has Nigeria’s stance towards blockchain and digital currency affected the growth of Xend Finance?
Nigeria’s rule by CBN has not been very easy navigating the Nigerian environment, but we are happy with what we have been able to achieve even within a not-so-supportive environment. I strongly believe that persevering over these roadblocks are what make great projects. Being able to chart a path where there is overcoming of hardships is the character of a victor and we are happy to be doing this.
What role do you think Africa and Nigeria in particular will play the future of DeFi and What should we expect in the future from Xend Finance?
I think Africa and Nigeria need DeFi more than any other region of the world. We should expect Xend Finance to be at the core of almost every blockchain transaction in Africa. We at Xend finance have built underlying infrastructure – that allows developers to build on top of our protocol (as it’s not easy to build scalable blockchain without a significant amount of time and funding) – to help early blockchain startups scale quickly.
This will put Xend Finance at the core of these startups, therefore driving growth and adoption through them as well.
What is Wicrypt and what makes it stand out?
Wicrypt is a service that allows people to earn money when they share their hotspot. The users earn money by earning $WNT as reward when they use and share their internet. This is a service that has never existed in the creation of mobile internet hotspots. We built this service because we realized the more people have the power to share and distribute their internet, the lower the cost will be and the more available the internet will be.
Wicrypt gives everyone the power to become a micro internet service provider. The service also stands out as a result of its unique technology. It is the first truly developed networking protocol in the entire Africa. Wicrypt has developed its own operating system called the Wicrypt OS that enables it to perform these amazing tasks.
Wicrypt has also built a protocol called the Wicrypt explorer that provides real-time data on ISP performance and data consumption in different parts of the world. Wicrypt is the first project in the world to build this. We have received great backing from the Nigerian government through the NCC (Nigerian Communication Commission). We received a grant of $5,500 in 2019 and also a license to operate.
By democratizing the internet, we strongly believe we will have a cheaper, efficient, and more secure internet service.