Mon | May 16, 2022

WiPay enters the metaverse

Partnering with Binance to enable crypto purchases

Published:Sunday | January 23, 2022 | 12:06 AM
Aldwyn Wayne, founder of WiPay.
Aldwyn Wayne, founder of WiPay.

Regional payment portal provider WiPay Caribbean, which has been ramping up its business in Jamaica in recent times, hopes to later this year offer its clients in Jamaica and elsewhere in the Caribbean, the opportunity to use its payment platform to buy the controversial unbacked digital cryptocurrencies that continue to draw divergent sentiments in the investing and financial communities

“WiPay is talking with Binance,” Aldwyn Wayne, the founder and CEO of WiPay Caribbean, announced as he delivered the keynote address at a digital payments conference dubbed ‘A Night in the Metaverse’ held at the AC Marriott Hotel in Kingston on Thursday.

The metaverse is the constellation of three dimensional virtual platforms that provide products and services online.

“In the first quarter of this year, we hope to allow WiPay members to access the Binance platform with your WiPay account. So yes, there is a plan in the works to access crypto by WiPay.”

Binance is a cryptocurrency exchange which is said to be the largest exchange in the world in terms of daily trading volume of cryptocurrencies. It was founded in 2017 originally in China but later registered in the Cayman Islands. Binance moved its headquarters out of China following the Chinese government’s increasing regulation of cryptocurrency.

WiPay offers digital wallets for payment in the region. Set up in 2016 in Trinidad with a regional footprint, WiPay provides payment services that rival global entities such as Paypal. The services are reported to facilitate US$210 million in annual transactions.

“Our goal is to make the market understand the value of crypto,” Wayne said adding that WiPay is working with regulated companies and the Bank of Jamaica on its plans to roll out diverse digital payment solutions.

“Once you build the solution that allows the regulators to be comfortable and complies with what they want, then it becomes mainstream,” Wayne said, brimming with optimism about the company’s vision.

Binance has backed up the pronouncements by the WiPay head.

“Usually, we have regional payment processors that we work with, but in regions like this, we prefer to partner with companies like WiPay and more regional players,” said Bryan Benson, managing director at Binance who also spoke at the metaverse conference.

“I cannot give a timeline,” Benson cautioned about when Caribbean nationals will be allowed to buy on the platform. He added that payment options could include bank account, credit card or through partners like WiPay.

Jamaicans currently cannot buy cryptocurrency on Binance and many other platforms utilising Jamaican banks or credit cards. Half of all crypto global transactions enter the Binance platform directly on its network or indirectly through other branded platforms which use Binance as its backend platform.

Crypto currency led by Bitcoin traded at US$38,700 on Friday, lower than its April 2021 high which surpassed US$66,000.

steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com