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Where to Spend Your Bitcoins in Africa

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spend bitcoins in africa

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have tremendous potential to bridge the gap when it comes to financial inclusion in the Africa continent. Already, bitcoin and blockchain technology are making it easier for previously unbanked people to transact and have access to services across national borders. This has led to an increase in the number of merchants accepting bitcoin payments. In this guide, you will find ten merchants that allow you to spend your bitcoins in Africa.

Mamamikes

Mamamikes is a Kenya-based retail and e-commerce platform. The company offers a wide array of products that include kitchen accessories, electronics, clothing, gift hampers, utility payments and so forth. The company has a number of payment options for East African customers in the diaspora, like Paypal, MasterCard, and Visa. Recently, the company also integrated bitcoin payments into their platform. Already, the company has begun to experience an encouraging number of users paying via bitcoin. Hopefully, this will lead to East African players in tourism, e-commerce, and remittances sectors to start adopting bitcoin in their businesses.

Ashworth Africa

Ashworth Africa is a South African tour company that creates travel itineraries for tourists, adventure seekers, and wildlife enthusiasts. Apart from South Africa, the company also operates in Namibia, Angola, Botswana, Rwanda, Kenya, Zambia, Uganda, and Tanzania. You can pay in bitcoins and start making your travel plans with the help of a travel specialist.

Bidorbuy

Bidorbuy is a South African online retailer, offering millions of products for sale across multiple categories. The company links up buyers and sellers to trade items through fixed price sales and online auctions. The platform now allows buyers to make payments in bitcoins. If you are interested in a product, but the seller is yet to activate the bitcoin payment option, you can message them and request them to enable it.

Minku

Minku is an online boutique and accessories startup based in Lagos, Nigeria. The founder, Kunmi Otitoju, designs fashionable quality bags from local materials and sells them to clients in over 16 different countries. She came to identify bitcoin as having the potential to significantly scale up her business to a fully fledged international online shop. By accepting bitcoin payments her customers can enjoy low fees and quick transactions. As she constantly travels across Europe marketing her products, she says, bitcoin has made it easy for her to receive payments on her laptop or smartphone.

Cape Coffee beans

Cape coffee beans is an online store meant for coffee fans. A customer can order freshly roasted coffee beans from any of artisanal roaster in South Africa. In addition, you can also order a coffee grinder among other items, all at affordable prices. The platform accepts payments in bitcoin and deliveries can be made to any part of the country.

Landmark PC

Landmark Computers is an online store established in 2007 that offers custom-built overclocked computers to high-end gamers in South Africa. Their primary focus is on premium PC hardware. They have monthly offers across their product range and can deliver them to any part of the country. Customers can pay using bitcoin or via conventional payment channels.

Silver Banana

Silver Banana is an online store that specializes in low-cost printing, branding, and customization solutions. Located in Cape Town they have begun accepting bitcoin for online orders and deliveries countrywide. They also cater to the for conventions, conferences, campaigns by offering the full spectrum of name tags, badges, banners, etc.

SafariWithUs

SafariWithUs is an accredited tour company that sets up dream vacations and accommodations for wildlife, adventure, and ethical safari tours. You can pay in bitcoins by using the PayFast option. The South African company also organizes safari’s in Tanzania and Mozambique.

Sapphire Logistics

Sapphire‘s corporate website showcases the essence of the company’s logistics, products and specialized services they offer to a host of multinational companies in Africa. They handle elements of procurement, product design. raw material specification, distribution, warehousing, website ordering and e-catalogue communication. Clients can pay via bitcoins for any of their services.

Nevada Furniture

Nevada Furniture deals in brand new Ikea products that are imported directly to South Africa. When it comes to furnishing your home Nevada offers cheap, secure and efficient solutions. You can browse their wide collection of products online which include beds, cabinets, space saving drawers, accessories and even office furniture. Their partnership with PayFast enables you to buy any of their products via bitcoin.

If you receive payments in bitcoin, purchasing goods and services at the above-mentioned retailers using bitcoin and ordering them straight to your doorstep might be just what you are looking for.

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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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