Some quarters, like The Daily Dot, now envision that Kenya is a step closer to adopting the Bitcoin as its official currency, even if at this point that remains a distant vision.
Kipochi is now using Mpesa money transfer service as its platform for transferring digital currency. News first broke out about the new service from Memeburn, a tech blog based in South Africa.
M-pesa is available in many countries but its biggest success has been in Kenya where rival mobile money transfer services like Airtel money and Yu Cash have been unable to dethrone it. It is a service of Vodafone UK offered through various affiliated telecom companies in Kenya, Tanzania, Afghanistan and the UK among others. In Kenya, M-pesa runs through Safaricom, which is also the biggest Telco company in East Africa.
In Kenya, M-pesa transfers are about 31% of the country’s GDP as reported by Quartz. Almost every adult with a phone is registered on the M-pesa service in Kenya.
Now, the fees associated with M-pesa have become the standard cost of sending and receiving money, such that even Western Union had to reduce its charges for sending money in East Africa. Given this huge customer base, and trust, it’s evident that Kipochi has actually landed on a potential gold mine. If all goes well, its use of the secure Bitcoin and the popular M-pesa will appeal to people in Kenya and Abroad.
The biggest beneficiaries of the Kipochi Bitcoin money transfer service will be the people who need to send money home fast and cheap. Now they can buy Bitcoins with whatever currency they use and send them back home to be withdrawn in Kenya shillings from banks, supermarkets, and local M-pesa agents.
Kipochi is already thinking of going into South Africa and Tanzania, but as they all say, the true test of M-anything is Kenya.
People can now send and receive money abroad with insanely low transaction costs, thanks to the crypto online currency – Bitcoin.
Kenyans will also be able to buy and invest in Bitcoin. Those sending money will only be charged US$0.04 for the exchange. The good thing is that Kipochi will support SMS, USSD, and feature phone Wap access as well as HTML5 on smartphones and tablets.
Now villages that have no access to banks, and by extension Western Union will be able to receive funds from abroad thanks to the use of M-pesa as its Kipochi’s platform.
The uptake of the service now depends much on sensitization of the end users.