Last updated on January 3rd, 2024 at 02:13 pm
When cryptocurrency was relatively new in Nigeria, a centralized trading platform NairaEX was founded on November 9, 2015 by David Ajala.
At the time he founded the crypto platform for Nigerians to buy and sell Bitcoin and Ethereum, the closing price for BTC was $380.26, according to StatMuse while Dollar to Naira exchange rate at the time closed at $/199.2230, according to data from PoundSterlingLive.
So, at the time, less than N80,000 was enough for a Nigerian crypto investor to buy a whole Bitcoin. But today, a BTC is worth USD42,632.95 or N51.5 million, depending on the exchange rate.
Who is David Ajala?
When you first hear about David Ajala, what comes to mind is the popular British actor in the Manchester Black in Supergirl and other movies. While both of them are Nigerians, the British actor isn’t the same as the founder of NairaEX.
The Chief Executive Officer and founder of NairaEX graduated from Centennial College, Ontario, Canada.
His journey into the crypto landscape
His journey began as a crypto news founder and publisher at btc.ng, which is now known as bitcoin.ng.
Before then, he disclosed that he first across Bitcoin in 2013 in the process of searching for alternative remittance mediums.
According to him, it was extremely difficult and quite expensive to send money to friends and family abroad.
At the time Western Union and banks were the most popular means of sending money abroad or receiving payment across the border.
He was excited after using Bitcoin “the speed and cost of transactions were unbelievable, incomparable to any other service I had used previously,” David Ajala told BitcoinAfrica, an online publication in an interview in 2017.
The Launch of NairaEX
By September he founded NairaEX but the site went live for trading on November 9, 2015.
So, NairaEX is one of the pioneer exchanges for cryptocurrency trading. The platform, however, has a limited coin.
The exchange allows users to buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, USDt, and Litecoin by depositing Naira into their wallet, which can then be used to purchase the listed crypto assets.
Inspiration Behind Nairaex Exchange?
Before decentralized finance became popular – thanks to blockchain technology – Nigerians were paying huge sums as transaction fees when sending money via conventional banks and Western Union.
Even as there are more alternatives to sending money, a report in 2021, reported that it is still very expensive to send remittances to Nigeria and other African countries.
Specifically, Nigeria was the second African country with the highest costs incurred when sending remittances. It cost 19 per cent of the sum sent as of 2021.
So, Nigerians faced multiple problems when sending money abroad, and the motive of removing the bottleneck of remittance birthed NairaEX.
The exchange faced lots of challenges, especially when Nigeria’s apex bank banned crypto trading to the point of closing bank accounts that are used for crypto deposits, until recently it relaxed the rules in a move to tax profit from digital assets.
It’s fantastic that the exchange continues to evolve. We hope that it goes beyond its current services of exchange and remittance.
At a time, the founder expressed interest in launching Bitcoin investment funds that would allow the crypto community to profit off the extremely volatile crypto markets. But nothing has been heard about this plan for more than two years David Ajala told an online publication regarding the plan.