There are many platforms that allow customers to buy, sell and store crypto.
Others keep coming up with a promise that they will do things differently. And for the most part, they bring something new to the table, ranging from features such as speed of transaction to managerial prowess.
One of the new members in the space is Topit, a new company that went live just the other month (April 2021). It states that is it the ‘fastest and easiest way to buy, sell and store cryptocurrency at low fees and competitive rates.’
Is that all though? Obviously not, because we managed to gain more insights about the company’s operations, and what it seeks to achieve in the crypto space.
Topit – Company Introduction
The firm’s choice of name is kind of straightforward – Topit.
It is a fintech startup, on a mission to build a new financial system for the African continent.
According to the company, its ‘aim is to enable Africans to take part in the new financial system, which is borderless, efficient, open source, decentralized, lacks middlemen and gatekeepers, and has no hidden fees.’
Topit says that its goal is to empower users to securely, seamlessly and safely buy, sell, hold/store and transfer some of the leading digital assets. Bundled with what it calls ‘fair’ pricing, Topit aims to further push for financial inclusion for all Africans.
Why Did Topit Choose to Go into This Business in 2021
Admittedly, the recent past has seen notable development of a new financial system that is borderless, with perks such as zero middlemen and gatekeepers, and with no hidden fees.
However, locals and Africans at large still lag behind despite the fact that crypto currencies can solve a number of problems they face. Access to crypto currencies is still a pain, despite the fact that it can play a role in ensuring financial inclusion in Africa, which has very high rates of financial exclusion.
“TopIt comes in to make it easy for individuals to access crypto currencies, thus driving financial inclusion,” says Topit in a statement.
Top Leadership and Reach
First, the company is headquartered in Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria.
It was founded by Vincent Ochieng’, a Kenyan, and Emmanuel Ogidi, a Nigerian.
Emmanuel Tochi serves as Topit CEO and CTO. He is a pioneer crypto trader and a blockchain expert with many years of experience in the trading space. Emmanuel says he has traded with over 20 crypto exchanges and brokers across the globe, hence has perfect knowledge of the workings of crypto exchanges.
Vincent Omulo, on the other hand, serves as Topit COO. His experience in the crypto space is diverse, having taken a course at the University of Cape Town on Blockchain and Digital Currencies. He has also served other companies in various capacities including Country Manager, and has vast experiences in payments, remittance and crypto exchanges.
Currently, Topit is in Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, and South Africa. It is also currently expanding to Botswana, Zambia, Cameroon, Lesotho, Malawi, and Ghana.
It has also processed over KES 100 million worth of crypto transactions in Kenya and Nigeria alone.
Lastly, Topit has 10K registered users in the two countries. About 2000 of them are active traders.
So, Break Down Crypto for People Who Still Have No Idea About It
First, crypto has been presented as digital currency. That is the easiest explanation that there is, but we got more juice from Topit.
While it is very popular, most countries are yet to accept it as medium of exchange or legal tender. However, leading companies in the world take crypto currency as a medium of exchange, including, until recently, Tesla.
“People buy crypto currencies for various reasons, which range for a long-term store of value (more of speculative aspect). These are the people who also use crypto currencies like Bitcoin as a replacement for gold as a store of value. Other people buy crypto currencies as a means of moving money across borders. There are also the normal traders who buy to sell at a profit in other markets (arbitrage trading),” says a Topit in a statement.
So, this is where Topit comes in: it helps companies and people buy and sell crypto currency.
“Assume one wants to buy Bitcoin and give fiat like KES, they are able to get it from our platform. The same applies when one wants to sell crypto currencies. Topit will get the crypto currency and give the client selling the crypto currency fiat like KES, NGN, ZAR etc.,” adds Topit.
According to data by Paxful, a peer-to-peer crypto exchange, Kenya has traded a total of 5,895 Bitcoins between 2015 and 2020. The data further reveals that Nigeria exchanged KES 63.15 billion worth of Bitcoins in 2020. This is followed by South Africa and Morocco.
It should be noted that the CBK has always maintained that crypto currencies such as Bitcoin are not acceptable as a legal tender. However, that has not stopped Kenyans from participating in the trade. Topit says it comes in to make sure that the transactions are performed easily and seamlessly. Kenyans can also use the platform to sell crypto for KES.
There Have Been Stories About People Losing Money to Crypto Platforms in Scams That Even Operated in Kenya. That Is Not the Case with Topit, Right?
“Our services are straight forward: You want to buy the crypto currencies we offer for whatever reason; we give you the platform where you can send fiat (like KES) and we give you the coins (note that we assume that our clients know why they are buying the crypto currencies). Besides, we allow people with crypto currencies to convert them into KES.
Scams are very common in the crypto space,” says Topit.
The company also reveals that crypto scams exist in various forms. There are crypto exchanges which have used “hacking” as an exit strategy, while other scammers have always used crypto exchanges to perpetrate their acts.
COO Vincent has worked for a United States based crypto exchange with presence in over 10 countries and as a result. Topit adds that he is well-equipped with strategies to counter scams that are run by other people using the exchange.
Topit also adds that it has put in place various measures to ensure the security of its crypto exchange. They include having in place security features such as multi factor authentication, linking accounts to specific IP addresses and informing the clients in case of any suspicious activity on their accounts, notifying clients when transactions are carried out on their accounts, blocking withdrawals from the accounts after change in the user details in the accounts, as well as an anti-fraud department.
The features have been integrated in Topit’s system to ensure that its platform is secure from intrusions.
A number of crypto exchanges have been hacked in the recent past.
For instance, Coincheck, a Japanese crypto exchange was hacked in 2018, with the hackers stealing well over $534 million worth of crypto currencies.
The other crypto exchanges, which have also been hacked in the past include Mt.Gox where $450 million worth of crypto currencies were lost and BitGrail where about $170 million worth of crypto currencies were stolen.
Crpto Currencies Offered, and Others
At the moment, Topit only offers four cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Etherium, BUSD, and BNB. In a month’s time, it will offer more than 20 other coins.
The platform’s smartphone apps are in development, and should be hitting stores for both Android and iOS users very soon.
Topit does not have a limit as to how much one can invest.
Topit appears to be on the way to being a mature platform for crypto exchanges. It should also be noted that this is a field that will become very important over the next couple of years as a number of startups are in the early stages of developing such products, but only a few of them have been tailor-made for say, a Kenyan trader.
At this stage, it is impossible to predict which crypto platform will be the first to reach mass adoption, but creating Topit on the promising multi-crypto currency platform with a simple UI is promising both for the experience gained in the technology and the potential it has to compete in the newly emerging field.