Crypto Spotlight Africa is a series where we highlight the disruptors, frontline enthusiasts, major traders and key players in the crypto (and blockchain) space in Africa.
Jerome Ikechukwu Okeke is the Co-Founder and CEO of Paylot Technologies & Obiex Finance. He studied Electronics and Computer Engineering in Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nigeria.
In 2016 while working as a part-time tutor, a friend introduced him to bitcoin and the concept of “internet money”. From then on, he began spreading the word around about cryptocurrency. He fully got into the blockchain movement when he discovered there was a need to build a bridge between cryptocurrency and fiat money particularly for business companies and merchants. Paylot Technologies became that bridge.
In the middle of running Paylot, Jerome and his co-founder saw that many merchants were using the platform to carry out personal crypto transactions rather than use it for business. To solve this, a single page off ramp platform called Otc.paylot.co was built and launched. Even though it was never advertised, it became so successful it had to be turned into a single product named Obiex Africa.
The product functioned effectively till the CBN sanction banning banks from supporting crypto platforms was implemented. Despite this significant stumbling block, Jerome was undeterred and set about finding a way to push through.
Obiex Africa was all about giving crypto traders accessibility to fiat. After the CBN restriction, Jerome and his team decided to transform the platform into a fully centralized and decentralized trading exchange service. This gave it the capacity to become a global product and thus Obiex Finance (and its web/mobile app) was launched in June 2021.
On a personal level, Jerome Okeke is driven by the desire to make crypto mainstream and offer financial freedom as well as solving poverty globally using blockchain facilities.
Regarding the challenges being faced by the cryptocurrency, de-fi, blockchain industry, he believes it will mostly serve to better the products and services that exist/will be built as the years go by.
In the future, he intends to scale the Obiex platform into not just being one of the biggest trading platforms but also a digital bank. Obiex Finance will offer nearly all the traditional banking features such as dollar cards in the version 3 of the platform. The company will also expand into the NFT marketplace and utility-payment with cryptocurrency.