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Cryptocurrency is not a get-rich-quick scheme - Ruth Iselema

Bitmama is solving the problem of finance - how Africa sees the money. We are creating solutions that will help people get easy access to cryptocurrency...


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Ruth Iselema

Ruth Iselema is the Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Bitmama, a cryptocurrency trading platform targeted especially at women and minorities in Africa. In this interview with Nigeria Today News, she said Bitmama is vital to the growth of crypto in Nigeria/Africa. She also argues that while now remains the best time to invest in crypto, potential investors must never see it as a get-rich-quick scheme. Excerpts.

NTN: What is Bitmama?

Bitmama is an exchange where you can buy and sell Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoins or Ethereum. Designed to help crypto users leverage on the potentials of the blockchain, the Bitmama website offers easy and fast cryptocurrency trades. Asides being an exchange, Bitmama is a financial service provider and aims to spread the knowledge of cryptocurrency and Blockchain to everyone especially to women and minorities in Africa. 

NTN: Describe briefly how it works?

Bitmama is designed is such a way that you can buy cryptocurrency with your Naira/Cedi debit/credit cards. After registering on the platform, you can input the amount of BTC you want in Naira or Ghana Cedis and once you fund your wallet and click on the buy button, you will have your BTC sent to you in real-time to your wallet on the platform.

NTN: What inspired this solution?

Financial security is one of the desires of man and Bitmama aims to provide that. The aim is to provide easy access to financial services and a place where people can have peace of mind trading and be sure of the security of their funds.

NTN: How would you describe the initial reaction to the solution by users and crypto enthusiasts?

The initial scepticism that surrounds cryptocurrency was enough to deter us at launch, but we knew that financial security meant a lot to the common man. So at launch, we had an impressive turnout and it was quite encouraging. Since the platform enables people to purchase bitcoin in Naira without the hurdle of being paired with someone and going through an escrow, people embraced it.

NTN: What is the exact problem you are solving? How important do you think this solution is to the growth of cryptocurrency in Nigeria/Africa?

Bitmama is solving the problem of finance - how Africa sees the money. We are creating solutions that will help people get easy access to cryptocurrency without going through hurdles and distrust. We are also spreading the knowledge of cryptocurrency across Africa. Bitmama is vital to the crypto growth in Nigeria/Africa. First, we aim to change the narrative that only men can be found in fintech and we aim to bring financial services to the unbanked and minorities on the continent.

NTN: There are still a lot of scepticisms around cryptocurrency across the world, and the volatility that it suffered from 2018 tended to prove critics right. What do you think is the future of crypto, given what you have seen so far running Bitmama?

Use cases will always keep critics quiet. Cryptocurrencies are becoming increasingly popular. From being used as payments to remittances. So, it is only a matter of time before sceptics accept the fact that it isn't going anywhere. Take Uber for example. When it first launched, people were sceptical, but today, Uber has over 17 million users across the world.

NTN: Given your understanding of the crypto market, how would you explain the outlook in 2020? When should be the best time to sell or buy?

Cryptocurrency will be seeing a lot of growth this year. As it is, people are beginning to realise that government-controlled fiat is venerable to inflation, and cryptocurrency is the way out of these trade wars that countries are constantly starting. Countries like Venezuela and Zimbabwe experiencing hyperinflation at the moment are already taking advantage of cryptocurrency.

However, when it comes to the best time to buy cryptocurrency, the best time is now.

NTN: What words do you have for crypto sceptics out there? Why should anyone buy into cryptocurrencies?

For crypto sceptics, I would say, the world is about to leave you behind, now is the time to join the rest of the world. For anyone who wants to buy into cryptocurrency, I would say

  1. It makes remittances easier. Imagine going through the hurdle of sending your family funds during the holidays. Cryptocurrency makes it easier and faster.
  2. It is a more preferable payment system than the traditional system. It eliminates the need for excess middlemen and payment charges.
  3. Integrating cryptocurrency into your business as a payment gateway is way easier than utilising the traditional system.

NTN: Is it almost too late to get in the game?

It's never too late to get into the crypto market. However, people need to understand the market, and know that cryptocurrency is not a get rich quick scheme.

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