Ruth Iselema is one of the earliest women in blockchain and cryptocurrency in Africa. She founded Bitmama in 2016 to make it easy for anyone in Africa to buy and sell cryptocurrency safely and provide an alternative means of cross-border payments.
As time went by, Ruth saw more interesting use cases for blockchain technology to solve across Africa. For instance, there had been constraints spiralling from the dollar/FX shortages experienced in major African markets. Ruth noticed people looking for ways to access cash for global purchases and businesses exploring ways to make payments for their cloud services and digital infrastructure. From her analysis and research, Ruth figured that crypto cards could substitute the heavy demand. These cards would allow users to store, and spend their cryptocurrency just like a traditional debit card
Bitmama swung into action, developing and testing use cases, and after several months of iteration, they launched their crypto cards. These cards allow users to store and spend their cryptocurrency just like a traditional debit card.
Eventually, the crypto cards were a success, with hundreds of thousands of users and skyrocketing volumes. Bitmama’s growth has further advanced blockchain penetration in markets with slow adoption.
Within the African blockchain ecosystem, Bitmama is currently the only crypto exchange advancing more lifestyle-focused uses-cases for cryptocurrencies. We’re positioned for the end-to-end Web3 values; not a buy-low-sell-high` platform.Ruth Iselema
Bitmama stands out by providing a reliable solution for people to bypass local debit card limits or apex bank restrictions, allowing for easy global payments. They go beyond being a simple buy-low-sell-high platform and are positioned for the end-to-end Web3 values. One measure of success has been the positive reviews and social proof it has received from its users; hence a testament that it solved a problem that had been plaguing the market for a long time.
Achieving this feat came with some challenges, particularly those related to gender stereotypes and the perception of Crypto and Web3 in Africa. Although these challenges are still being overcome, bias against female-led businesses remains a global struggle. To solve the problem of adoption, they have driven educational programs that address low trust issues in cryptocurrencies and Web3 opportunities. Despite this, Ruth remains focused on her goals and believes that Bitmama has delivered results and will continue to do so.
Over the years, Bitmama has made a significant impact on the African blockchain industry by changing the narrative and use cases of cryptocurrencies. They have users in Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya who now see crypto as a valid means of payment used globally.
Bitmama’s crypto card is used by businesses and individuals to pay suppliers abroad, import goods, run day-to-day online groceries, and hedge against inflation and local currency devaluation. Bitmama’s flagship product, Changera Business & Personal, helps businesses facilitate cross-border transactions securely with blockchain technology.Ruth Iselema
As a current client of Norebase, Bitmama is set to facilitate the adoption of cryptocurrency across different African countries.
To entrepreneurs, Ruth says
“Look beyond any limitations and stereotypes. Filter every external word and distil every internal thought that tends to shake up your convictions. Once you’re convinced that you have a valid solution and have found your product-market fit, keep steadfast in it. Sooner than later, the market will catch on and everyone will see that you were indeed up to something great. No one ignores you at that point.“
Bitmama’s flagship product – Changera, is available to Businesses & Individuals looking to scale their businesses or transactions globally. You can stay up to date with their offerings on Instagram, and Twitter.