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5 Things You Can Do With Bitcoin In Africa You Probably Didn’t Know About

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with Bitcoin In Africa

Bitcoin has many benefits for African users, such as lowering personal remittance cost and accepting secure payments for products and services offered online. Having said that, there are much more ways Africans can benefit from using bitcoin. In this article, you will be introduced to five things you can do with bitcoin in Africa that you probably didn’t know about.

GET A LOAN THROUGH BITBOND

Bitbond is a global peer to peer lending platform where lenders can invest in peer-to-peer loans and, alternatively, borrowers can apply for an affordable small business loan. In Africa, it can often be very difficult to receive a small business loan from banks or microfinance institutions. That is where Bitbond can step in and help with their bitcoin-based small business loans that anyone in the world can apply for.

By using bitcoin as a payment network, everybody who has access to the Internet can participate in this global loan market. In order to get a small business loan, you simply start by registering on their platform and confirm your email. You then file an application, after which you can get a loan up to your maximum debt capacity provided you find enough investors for it on the platform.

TOP UP AIRTIME USING BITREFILL

BitRefill allows users to add prepaid mobile minutes to their phones using their web-based platform.  The only thing that users need to do is put in their mobile numbers, select the amount of credit and pay through bitcoin. Users don’t need to travel long distances to purchase credit as they can top-up their phones directly online.

Once the users have keyed in their numbers and credit amount, Bitrefill generates a wallet address with the number of bitcoins that you should send. Bitrefill’s servers pay the operator once the bitcoin network confirms the transactions. The user then gets the credit added to their phone almost instantly.

GET PAID FOR CREATING CONTENT

SteemIt is a social media platform where African contributors can get paid to post content online, which is supported by blockchain technology. It uses Steem which is a new currency that rewards users who upload articles and blogs and at the same time making payments to people for sourcing content.  If one wants to get a better reward, then they need to upvote a post that will gain popularity early enough. Steem power, a vesting currency is what is used to pay users.  This currency can then be exchanged for bitcoin or USD on major bitcoin exchanges.

INVESTING

Do you believe that bitcoin will gain widespread adoption globally and therefore rise substantially in value? If so, you might be interested in investing in bitcoin. There are many exchanges where you can buy bitcoins and hold them until the value has reached a level where you feel comfortable to sell. In fact, many bitcoiners hold the majority of their bitcoins as a long-term investment, as opposed to using it as a daily spending currency.

GAMBLE ONLINE USING BITCOIN IN AFRICA

If you love to gamble online, you can also do so using bitcoin. There are numerous bitcoin online casinos that offer you the opportunity to play your favorite casino games from the comfort of your own home and without your bank knowing what you are spending your money on.

One of the best sites to gamble on is Crypto Games as it is easy to use and offers a range of popular casino games. Other bitcoin casinos with good reviews include StarcoinmBitcasino, and Bitstarz.

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Bitcoin Wallet Luno Adds SegWit Support to Lower Transaction Fees

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Luno Adds SegWit Support

Luno, one of the most popular bitcoin wallets in Africa, has announced full SegWit integration for bitcoin send and receive transactions. Previously, Luno customers could only receive BTC through a legacy wallet address, which was not integrated with the recent Bitcoin blockchain upgrade SegWit. Only send transactions were SegWit compatible.

With the full integration of SegWit, Luno users can now enjoy cheaper and faster bitcoin transactions.

“By implementing SegWit internally, Luno has managed to reduce the send fees paid by customers by over 25% already. As customers start switching over to new SegWit addresses, this will translate into a further reduction in sending fees in the coming weeks and months,” Werner van Rooyen, head of marketing and communications at Luno stated.

Luno currently operates in South Africa, Nigeria, Malaysia, UK, and in 35 other European countries.

What is SegWit?

Segregated Witness (SegWit) was an upgrade to the Bitcoin blockchain that is intended to address Bitcoin’s scalability challenges as well as fix the issue of transaction malleability. With SegWit, signature data is separated from transaction data in order to enable more transactions to fit into each block. The signature data is kept in an extended block called the witness. As a result, bitcoin transactions become faster and transaction fees become lower.

In theory, the Bitcoin network can handle seven transactions per second. However, in reality, it is around four transactions per second. With the number of bitcoin transactions increasing as bitcoin’s popularity grows, transactions take longer as the unconfirmed transactions pool increases. Therefore, bitcoin users who can afford it have been paying higher transaction fees to incentivise miners to prioritise their transactions and, thereby, increase the speed of their transactions. At the end of 2017, this has led to the average bitcoin transaction fee spiking to over 35 dollars.

However, when SegWit addresses are used, bitcoin transactions become faster and the required resources decrease as well. Consequently, the transaction fees reduce.

How Can You Add a SegWit Wallet Address on Luno?

To add a SegWit address on the Luno wallet you have to follow these steps:

  • Open your Luno account either on the mobile app or the web app
  • Choose “wallets” from the menu
  • Click on your “BTC wallet”
  • Choose “receive bitcoin”
  • Click “add address” and follow the prompt

To receive bitcoin, use your SegWit bitcoin receive address. Legacy bitcoin addresses begin with 1 while SegWit bitcoin addresses begin with 3. Even after adding a SegWit wallet address, bitcoins sent to your previous legacy bitcoin address will still work. In addition, you can still send bitcoin from a SegWit wallet to a legacy wallet and vice versa since the transactions are still taking place on the same blockchain. But if you are sending bitcoins to and from a SegWit wallet, you can benefit from reduced fees.

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Bitmart Opens Cryptocurrency Mining Hardware Store in South Africa

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Bitmart Opens Cryptocurrency Mining Hardware Store

Bitmart, South Africa’s leading supplier of mining hardware, has opened a cryptocurrency mining hardware store in South Africa. This makes Bitmart’s retail outlet the first cryptocurrency mining store in Africa.

Products and Services Offered by Bitmart

Bitmart was founded by CEO Jacques Serfontein in 2015 to offer cryptocurrency mining hardware to South Africans. Currently, Bitmart offers GPU rigs, ASIC miners, GPU rig mining software, graphics cards, international mining rig monitor app, cryptomatic watches, hardware wallets, and motherboards. Customers can find GPU mining rigs that mine cryptocurrencies such as zcash, monero, decred, bitcoin, and litecoin.

Additionally, Bitmart provides services such as bitcoin mining farm design and deployment, mining training, antminer repair tickets, mining farm management using Genesis Hive, and shepherd services.

Through its shepherd services, Bitmart helps owners of second-hand miners to find buyers. Therefore, both sellers and buyers are assured of safe and secure transactions through Bitmart’s SSL-secured online shop.

According to MyBroadband, Bitmart is an authorised distributor of Avalon Miners, Genesis Hive, Trezor, Ledger wallets, KeepKey, and UniSat (satellite mining solutions) in Africa.

The company also supplies mining hardware to countries such as Japan, Dubai, North America, Australia, and England.

What Does Bitmart Plan for the Future?

Bitmart will be holding seminars in Johannesburg and Mbombela. The seminars will focus on bitcoin basics and advanced cryptocurrency trading. In addition, Bitmart will be introducing a satellite mining connection in partnership with Uniwisp that will allow mining rigs to mine from any place in the world. Uniwisp is an Internet service provider based in Nelspruit, South Africa.

 

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Kenya’s BitPesa Acquires Spanish Money Transfer Platform TransferZero

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BitPesa Acquires TransferZero

On February 8, 2018, BitPesa announced that it has acquired TransferZero, a Madrid-based online money transfer platform, which operates in over 200 countries using more than 50 currencies.

Why Did BitPesa Acquire TransferZero?

BitPesa, which is already operating in Africa and Europe, will be able to “set deep roots to UK and European licensing, bank accounts, and integrations” through this acquisition, according to the company’s statement on its blog.

“Europe is a hub for global remittance and payments companies. Digital currencies and decentralized technology have hit critical mass in the financial services and payments space. It is no longer a question of whether this technology will have staying power [but] which specific technology and what product iteration will launch and scale first […],” Elizabeth Rosiello, founder and CEO BitPesa said.

“BitPesa has the support of top-tier, institutional investors and a network that will help to bring TransferZero’s technology to the next level. With this support, we will be able to provide even more efficient transfers and user experience,” Luis Cambronero, former TransferZero CEO and present Managing Director, BitPesa stated.

Setting Up Infrastructure Across Europe and Africa is a Priority

“Setting up infrastructure across Europe and Africa has always been a focus of ours. […] We’ve just doubled our bank accounts, our infrastructure, and it’s licensed by the Bank of Spain as a payment institution. So we are fully compliant with PSD2 regulations […],” Rosiello said.

“This is truly a partnership where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, allowing BitPesa to solidify our leadership in this space. By bringing our regional and technological expertise together, we will further accelerate our month-to-month growth,” Rossiello asserted.

TransferZero will neither change its name nor its headquarters. In addition, its employees will remain with Bitpesa.

This acquisition from an Africa-based bitcoin startup of a European fintech startup shows that leading African startups can make waves beyond the borders of the continent and create a positive impact on a global scale.

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