A dedicated Bitcoin exchange for Africa has launched after a four-month development phase from Nigeria-based programmers.

Announced Sunday by lead developer Timi Ajiboye, the unusually-named Bitkoin.Africa seeks to provide legitimate trading opportunities for local cryptocurrency holders.

“We're launching today Oct. 1, 2017. With complete support for Nigeria and partial (buying only) support for all other countries,” Ajiboye confirmed on Twitter.

The move marks an encouraging step for Nigeria, which has frequently made the headlines for the wrong reasons regarding illicit usage and spurious regulatory warnings surrounding Bitcoin.

In further tweets, Ajiboye confirmed the platform boasts an automated escrow service and the ability to buy Bitcoin using Visa and MasterCard.

Buy listings currently revolve around 1,650,000 naira per Bitcoin, around $150 higher than spot rates on exchanges such as Bitstamp in Europe.

The release marks a further Nigerian ‘spin-off’ of popular Bitcoin-based tools. In July, Overstock appeared to ‘inspire’ Shopnow.ng, a Bitcoin-only e-commerce site offering a range of products available for purchase strictly with cryptocurrency.

The site currently lists a more advantageous rate in naira, around one mln lower than Bitkoin.Africa.

Nigeria already enjoys dedicated exchanges in the form of NairaEx and Remitano, while Kenya’s payments and remittances platform BitPesa is also establishing a firm foothold in the country.