The Singapore-based exchange group, the Huobi Group, proposes a unique growth strategy for emerging markets: working with local entities and then balancing profits.
David Chen, senior business director of the Firecoin Group, said that the South African exchange HIZA will be officially launched in May and will join the 150 platforms under the Firecoin Cloud.
He added, "We will help them increase their trading volume, and when the market becomes more mature, we will expand our business." There are currently as many as 80 like-minded partners in preparation.
However, in addition to the fire currency, there are also some exchanges that have recently implemented expansion plans. Global exchange giants like the currency are opening independent subsidiaries in emerging markets such as Uganda, or investing in local exchanges like Bittrex and the South African exchange VALR. Similar to Bittrex, the Huobi Group provides global partners with high-quality liquidity for partners such as HIZA.
Interestingly, this type of cooperation allows the Firecoin to minimize the regulatory risk of working in underdeveloped markets – in underdeveloped markets, partnerships with banks need to understand the unique local regulatory regimes and the consequences of unintentional mistakes. It can be very serious.
David Chen said, “They (HIZA) have their own customer data, which is not managed by the fire currency, which may reduce the risk of the development of the fire currency to a certain extent”.
He added that the Firecoin Group has received a net profit of $1.5 million from the online cloud partnership since October 2018. SaBi founder Lucky Uwakwe said that the Nigeria-based SaBi exchange is one of its partners, and the exchange's daily trading volume is about $100,000.
David Chen said that their goal is to achieve a total of $55 million in daily transactions for these partners by 2020.
Uwakwe pointed out that at least in Nigeria, if they want to increase trading volume, his exchange has to overcome considerable regulatory obstacles. That's why the exchange is taking a multi-pronged approach, including P2P and off-exchange (OTC) trading services.
He said, "We are creating various options. If the government decides to ban business cooperation with banks, we can still have some buffer space. We want to create options for users to do what they think is more comfortable."
It should be noted that none of these jurisdictions have made cryptocurrency transactions illegal.
“ Bitcoin transactions have not been banned,” Nigerian lawyer Faith Obafemi said in an interview with CoinDesk. "However, banks and other financial institutions are prohibited from providing cryptocurrency investment services."
On the other hand, HIZA founder Talha Idris told CoinDesk that the South African government is beginning to take more active steps.
“They are asking for (research) opinions and may update the regulations accordingly,” Idris said of the local authorities. “Fire will help us in all aspects of technology, especially in the area of safety and risk control.”
In January 2019, a nationwide survey conducted by HootSuite found that 11% of South African mobile users had some kind of cryptocurrency.
In addition, P2P trading platforms like Paxful have proven that demand is growing in several African markets, including Nigeria and South Africa, even during the broader downturn. To a certain extent, this is stimulated by the strict capital controls of these countries.
Speaking of local needs, SaBi's Uwakwe added:
"We have the motivation. Even with a lot of bans and restrictions, people can find ways to get these cryptocurrencies. When it comes to our daily trading volume, we actually do a lot."