Nigeria is one of the leading countries in the world when it comes to transactions in crypto and other virtual tokens. A survey from Statista shows that Nigerians have about 32% adoption rate. The survey was conducted online.
This means the number of people looking to buy and sell cryptocurrency in the country remains high, even with the central bank’s prohibition of banks from facilitating transactions in bitcoins and other digital assets in the country.
The sustained interest is believed to be largely due to the opportunities the digital assets offer. While that may be true, adoption is still at a slow pace due to the difficulties posed, particularly in transacting these currencies.
Early adopters of cryptocurrencies in the country had to rely solely on foreign bitcoin p2p platforms like Binance and Luno to carry out transactions. But the experience was not a good one for a lot of users especially with exorbitant rates, minimum balance and other unfavourable practices by those exchanges.
There was therefore the need for something indigenous and capable of mitigating against these problems. The outcome was the rise of indigenous crypto platforms like Patricia.
Founded in 2017 by Hanu Fejiro Agodje, Patricia is one of the few technology companies making it easier for users within the country to buy and sell cryptocurrencies.
The fintech startup which first started its transactions on Whatsapp achieves seamless crypto exchanges through its website and mobile apps available on both the Android and iOS stores.
According to details on the company website, the brand currently has over 600,000 registered users on its platform and about 10,000 daily active users who carry out over 30,000 daily transactions. The company started out in its office in Lagos, Nigeria but recently moved its operational headquarters to the Republic of Estonia from where it now services more than 10 countries.
“There is a lot of chatter around Crypto but not enough people are adopting it as fast as it should be why? The idea of Crypto is still complex, it’s almost as if it is reserved for a select few. This is where Patricia finds a purpose, our purpose is to make Crypto easy for mankind. Harnessing and pushing the intrinsic power of Blockchain Technology to the moon. Creating a new and sustainable path for the present and future generations,” CEO Hanu Fejiro says.
What makes the app unique?
Instances of ripping off are remarkably common in the Nigerian crypto scene. That is majorly due to the fact that users had to rely on foreign crypto P2P exchange platforms which made it difficult to regulate transactions between parties.
Addressing this issue while also bearing in mind the absence of bank involvement in the cryptocurrency trade as instructed by Nigeria’s apex bank, the Patricia App offered a peer-to-peer feature that allows buyers to confirm the legitimacy of the cryptocurrency being offered. The app also allows sellers receive the payment before the cryptocurrency amount is transferred.
Patricia also buys crypto directly from users who wish to sell on its platform as well as sells directly to users who wish to buy. These transactions come at agreed exchange rates.
As with many other currencies, Patricia charges based on an exchange rate and claims to have some of the best rates in the market. As of today, Patricia buys bitcoin from users at the rate of N552 to a dollar and sells at N565 to a dollar.
Using the App
The Patricia app is easy to download and install from the play store. It requires first-timers to provide their username, email address, and password.
Upon completion of the signup form, a six-digit confirmation code will be sent to the input email address after which users by default will also have to create a personal six-digit pin which will be required for future transactions.
Like many other fintech apps, Patricia requires its users to input their BVN for easy verification of the bank account information provided. The app by default provides a Bitcoin wallet that makes it’s easy for users to send and receive bitcoins, but it also allows for bitcoin trading.
The App which once allowed users to order a debit crypto card had to discontinue the service in line with the CBN directives on the ban of crypto use. The app allows bitcoins transaction between its buyers by serving in an oversight capacity verifying the authenticity of the transaction.
Over 100,000 downloads on the play store
The Patricia app which promises to let people buy and send bitcoin easily currently has over 100,000 downloads and a 3-star rating from Google’s play store. The App that currently runs on version 1.3.1 has attracted diverse reactions from users based on their experiences.
“The app is easy to understand and user friendly. The only problem I have is the untrue price given on the App. I discovered the amount I got when the exchange rate of bitcoin sold was $522, and was relatively lower when the price was $531. This I didn’t understand instead of going up. Nevertheless, it is still the best hence 5-star.” – Jamiu Ola
Beyond bitcoin exchange
The Patricia app offers more to its users beyond the bitcoin exchanges. One interesting service that exists on the Patricia App is the Refill service which is Patricia’s way of giving its users options to how they use their cryptocurrencies. This service allows users to pay for their data and internet subscriptions through their wallets. They can also pay for electricity bills, TV subscriptions and even make airtime purchases.
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