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7 April 2021
Unsplash © Adi Goldstein

Our mission is to power the future of money in Africa

Ire Aderinokun is a frontend web developer and user interface designer from Lagos, Nigeria. She is the cofounder and COO of BuyCoins (YC S18), a cryptocurrency exchange for Africa.

BuyCoins is a cryptocurrency exchange for Africans. We are the easiest way to buy and sell Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, USD Coin, and USD Tether. In addition to the BuyCoins exchange, we have created additional products powered by cryptocurrency. Sendcash offers fast and affordable money transfer to Nigeria and Ghana from anywhere in the world. Getcards allows Nigerians to buy gift cards from over 3,000 online stores via Naira bank transfers.

VC, Angel, or Bootstrap? And why?

I think either of these methods is more suitable for different stages of the company. In the beginning, when you’re trying to validate an idea and see if it’s worth spending time on in the first place, bootstrapping is the way to go. As you advance, Angel is generally easier to start with when doing something like a seed round. Once fully established, VCs can offer the support (financial and otherwise) to truly expand a global business.

Where do you see the company in the near term and long term?

As we’ve shown with Sendcash and Getcards, powerful products can be built using cryptocurrency as a base. With Getcards, we’ve shown that cryptocurrency doesn’t even need to be an explicit, user-facing, part of a product. In the long term, we envision the existence of a suite of products, which could be built by us or anyone else, that is powered by the BuyCoins exchange. Money, particularly on the African continent, has a lot of problems, and cryptocurrency can be (at least one of) the solutions.

Biggest “win” in your business’s history?

I would say our biggest win was getting into the YC program. Mainly because, it offered us the platform, validation, and access to do the things we are doing today.

What’s the biggest risk your business ever took?

I think the nature of our business is a risk in itself! Dealing with money, and especially dealing with money that doesn’t have the insurance of fiat has been a risk, but has also been an incredible challenge we have had to learn how to solve.

Which one thing do you wish you’d done differently?

Getting help from other specialists, e.g. accountants, etc, earlier.

This article was originally published on ParlayMe.