Africans have moved from mining gold and other mineral resources into mining cryptocurrencies. They are adopting more than mobile money technologies – they are using the blockchain to move money fast. Africans are farming more than crops – they are now cultivating cryptocurrencies and digital money.
As the most widely used cryptocurrency, bitcoin has gradually entered the African financial sector. These are the start-ups helping Africa move money through bitcoins.
Bitmari, is no doubt, one of the most innovative bitcoin startups in Africa, integrating the cryptocurrency into the lives of ordinary Africans, from the butcher to the farmer. Bitmari provides mobile wallets and remittance services by leveraging the bitcoin blockchain and ensuring faster transactions at extremely low fees.
Founded in 2015, Bitmari is gradually spreading out of Zimbabwe into other parts of Africa, making its bitcoin platform available to ordinary Africans, and liaising with banks to ensure the provision of comprehensive services.
Founded in 2014 by Bill Barhydt and headquartered in California, Abra is a bitcoin-based digital currency platform that allows users to buy and sell, store and trade, or send and receive fiat money and bitcoins across the globe.
Users are not required to have a bank account to be part of the Abra platform. They can send and receive money from many African countries and around the world.
Established in Kenya with offices in Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania, Landon, Dakar, and Luxembourg, BitPesa is a comprehensive digital payment platform that allows participants to send and receive money across the world. Using 60 banks across Africa and seven different mobile wallets, the platform allows users to engage in global bitcoin exchanges using local currencies, undertake money transfers, and deal in Foreign Exchange.
Emanated from South Africa in 2014, GeoPay is an innovative blockchain-based remittance platform that has one aim: enable easy flow of remittances from the diaspora to Africa. There is no need for users to have knowledge in bitcoins, it works with many local tellers in South Africa and beyond. Users can withdraw, send, and spend money through local GeoPay tellers.
Bitspark is a blockchain-based digital wallet that enables members to send and receive money across the globe. Currently limited to some few countries, the platform is expanding gradually.
From Indonesia to Nigeria and from the Philippines to Ghana, Bitspark ensures low-cost, fast, and secure money transfer to and fro Africa. It works with many banks, Pawnshops, and designated pickup centers to ensure global accessibility.
With a simple user interface, easy transaction processing, Remitano emanated from Seychelles as a part of the Babylon Solutions Ltd and ensures fast transfer, exchange, and trade of bitcoins across Africa and beyond. It has services in many locations including Australia, Nigeria, Ghana, Cambodia, the United States, China, Vietnam, and is on the rise to cover more parts of the world.
A digital currency coming from Accra in Ghana, PayPlux allows fast, secure, and excellent money transfer and exchanges across the globe. Integrated with many banks and mobile wallets, the platform allows the buying and selling of litecoin, bitcoin, PerfectMoney, and Ether.
Naira Exchange (NairaEX)
NairaEX is a bitcoin exchange platform that allows users to buy and sell bitcoins – ensuring secure, safe, and fast exchanges. Though processing time can last up to 4 hours, NairaEx is constantly on the lookout to making improvements in this area and linking with local banks to bring bitcoins closer to the doorsteps of ordinary Nigerian citizens and around Africa.
Bitwala is a blockchain-based peer-to-peer digital currency platform where bitcoin trade and exchanges are done securely. It enables seamless bank transfers, credit and debit card processing, a secure bitcoin wallet, and an easy API that allows third-party integration. The platform boasts of its existence in over 200 countries with more than 57 thousand users in 20 different currencies.
Founded by Jorg von Minckwitz, Benjamin P Jones, Jan Goslicki in 2015, and situated in Germany, Bitwala is on a quest to conquer the world when it comes to bitcoin and other altcoin transactions.
A London-based start-up that seeks to change the way Africans spend, send, and exchange bitcoins. You can refer to Kobocoin as the African bitcoin – it has similar features to bitcoin but built with the ordinary African in mind. Kobocoin allows for instant, phone-to-phone, bankless, and low fees bitcoin transactions across the African continent and many other parts of the world.
When it comes to new technology, Africa hasn’t been known to be a good and fast adopter. But things have changed, especially in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. The continent is moving from an era where everything is about natural resource mining and farming, into mining cryptocurrencies and ensuring that trade between the continent and the rest of the world is done smoothly – the above platforms are just a few of the innovative examples.
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