Mara launches crypto wallet service in Nigeria and Kenya

Coinbase and Alameda-backed venture, Mara has launched a crypto wallet service in Nigeria and Kenya.

By Staff

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Over 2 million users in Nigeria and Kenya are set to be onboarded to the Mara cryptocurrency wallet. The digital wallet was recently backed by Coinbase Ventures and FTX-affiliated Alameda Research through a seed round investment of $23 million.

The crypto wallet has a few signed-up users in Nigeria, however, a portion of the waitlist will be onboarded through an invite-only process that started on October 27th. The onboarding of users in Kenya will follow. 

Through its app, the Mara wallet will provide cryptocurrency brokerage services, enabling users to buy, send, sell, and withdraw both fiat money and cryptocurrency. Additionally, the app will give users access to learning materials on managing personal finances and cryptocurrencies.

Launching alongside the wallet is the Mara Foundation, a nonprofit intended to drive blockchain and sustainable development in Africa. The foundation is also partnered with USD Coin and Euro Coin (EUROC) to drive the uptake of the stablecoins.

Web3 and blockchain development are also a focus of the project, with Mara aiming to train 1 million developers on the continent. The first effort to drive this goal was a hackathon dubbed “Hack the Mara,” whose aim was to build payment solutions to support Kenya’s Maasai communities and improve the financial sustainability of conservation projects. The conservation projects include the Maasai Mara, a large ecological and wildlife conservation area in Kenya. 

The three winning teams out of 24 local developers from the Hack the Mara competition were awarded a share of $100,000 in prizes as well as entry into a startup accelerator program to continue their product development.

The organization also intends to launch a learning community with free educational materials on financial literacy, cryptocurrencies, Web3, and blockchain education in a variety of languages. With their certificates, Mara Academy graduates will be able to instruct and guide other program participants.

The project also hopes to introduce Mara Chain, a proprietary layer-1 blockchain system designed to support decentralized apps. Before the end of 2022, the blockchain platform is expected to launch.

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