A Nigeria-based decentralized finance (DeFi) platform that allows users to pool capital for the creation of their own credit unions has launched its mainnet.

Backed by Binance, Google Launchpad and more, Xend Finance is a decentralized credit union protocol designed to "optimize" and "add value to the core operations" of credit unions, according to a company white paper.

It's also the first DeFi protocol to launch from the African continent using the Binance Smart Chain (BSC) platform, aiming to make financial markets more accessible to underserved communities, according to a press release shared with CoinDesk on Monday.

See also: What Is DeFi?

“The problem for the citizens of many countries in Africa is that their currency valuations fluctuate wildly, often devaluing greatly compared to other regions,” said CEO Ugochukwu Aronu. “Through our platform and Binance Smart Chain, people can channel their savings into stable currencies, without worry that their money will devalue overnight."

The platform allows users to earn annual percentage yields from savings held in personal or credit union accounts created by the protocol. Interest can be earned by converting cryptocurrency or fiat currency to stablecoins for staking – a way to participate in transaction validation on a "proof-of-stake" network by committing assets for a period of time.

Alongside its mainnet launch, the platform is introducing its $XEND token through a token generation event via automated market maker Balancer due later today.

The Xend protocol charges credit unions created on its platform a small fee on transactions, as well as per complete customer save cycle, according to the white paper.

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