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How To Travel Around Africa Using Bitcoin

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Travel around Africa using Bitcoin

Travelling within Africa using bitcoin has become easier as more businesses are adopting the cryptocurrency. In this guide, you will find all the most important travel service providers and merchants that allow you to pay in bitcoin during your travels around Africa.

Booking flights

Presently, a number of international travel sites have enabled bitcoin payment systems on their platforms. One such platform is the California-based CheapAir.com. The company has witnessed an upsurge in customers paying through bitcoin for travel bookings since integrating bitcoin payments on its platform in 2013. With over $15 million worth of bitcoin processed to date, the travel site hopes to extend the option to customers using the CheapAir iOS app for flight and hotel bookings.

Another flight booking option you can use is the Spanish travel service Destinia.com. The travel agent, which was the first to accept bitcoin payments, allows customers to purchase discounted tickets using the digital currency. The online booking process using bitcoin remains the same to any other payment method, with some customised features to make it user-friendly. You can book low-cost flights to South Africa on the travel site for example.

Alternatively, you can use BTCTtrip, a bitcoin-only travel site to purchase flight tickets to select African locations. The travel site offers special discounts for customers booking business class with bitcoins. ABitSky is another bitcoin only travel site where you can find cheap airline tickets to several African airports.

Booking Accommodation

Similar to online travel agents, several individual establishments and online platforms accept bitcoin as payment for accommodation. HOTELGO24 allows one to book hotel rooms using bitcoin. The platform is a favourite for cryptocurrency enthusiasts due to its 5 percent bitcoin cash-back of a reservation amount on a select number of hotels. You can search for a hotel in Africa among the 130,000 partner institutions listed on the platform.

Travel Africa using Bitcoin

An alternative is AccomoDirect, a South African online accommodation portal that accepts bitcoin payments. You can view its 20,000 listings as well as reviews across 2,000 unique African destinations. Accommodation listings on the platform are pre-verified to ensure their suitability. Booking payments are scrutinised and confirmations sent to guests.

Also offering online accommodation booking services is SafariWithUs, a South African tour company that organises accommodation for people on dream vacations or those seeking an African adventure. Customers can pay in bitcoin via the PayFast payment feature on their website and enjoy quality accommodation in South Africa, Mozambique, and Tanzania.

You can also use Travel sites such as CheapAir and Destinia, to book hotels or vacation homes across multiple locations in Africa, and pay for the reservations using bitcoin.

Transportation

Once you have found a place to stay, the next thing you may need is a way to move around. Luckily, popular travel sites CheapAir and Destinia, allow you to hire car rental services and pay for them in bitcoin. If you are visiting South Africa, you can hire a vehicle from cabscarhire.com, a bitcoin-friendly car rental service that has depots at all major airports and cities in the country. SafariWithUs, another bitcoin-enabled travel site also provides wildlife and ethical safari tours for guests.

Ashworth Africa is another South African tour company that specialises in setting up tailor made tours for those planning Safari’s or enjoying a honeymoon. You can pay in bitcoins and start making travel plans with the help of their itineraries’ specialists to dream locations in Southern and Eastern Africa.

Food, Drinks, and Entertainment

Purchasing foods and drinks, not to mention enjoying relaxing night-outs, is highly dependent on which African country you are visiting. As a rule, countries with higher bitcoin adoption rates such as South Africa offer more in terms of online retailers and merchants who accept the digital currency.

For coffee lovers visiting South Africa, Cape Coffee beans is a good place to start. The online store caters to coffee enthusiasts in the country and accepts bitcoin payments. You can order freshly ground coffee beans from any artisanal roaster at affordable prices and have it delivered to you at any location within the country.

If you are looking for a wider selection of food and drink, South African retailer Checkout may be a perfect choice. The second place recipient of the ‘Good Practice Award 2015-2016’ has a network of 45 corporate stores across the country. Shoppers can pay for its affordable products using bitcoin. By using the store locator feature on the website, you can locate a store close to you.

Alexander Bar, Cafe & Theater, is a popular entertainment joint in the Cape Town area. Located on 76 Strand Street, the joint offers a unique entertainment experience with a cozy bar and intimate live performances. You can purchase drinks and snacks using bitcoin as you enjoy soothing jazz performances.

Alternatively, if there are no bitcoin-friendly food and hangout spots, you can always pay using a bitcoin debit card.

Buying Travel Gear

If you are looking to do some outdoor activities such as hiking or rock climbing, you can purchase gear beforehand using bitcoins on Amazon, through Purse.io. Purse.io enables customers to buy items at a discounted rate, such as backpacks, diving gear and more, by selecting them on Amazon and uploading them to the Purse.io platform. The platform then connects the user to someone who wants bitcoins and is willing to purchase the items on behalf of the user. The user will then receive the delivery and release the bitcoin to the other party in the transaction.

There are also some local bitcoin-friendly options one can consider such as ActionGear in South Africa. The former allows you to pay in bitcoin for a wide range of outdoor electronic equipment such as activity trackers, drones, cameras just to name a few.

Purchasing Gift Cards

You can use bitcoin to buy gift cards from Gyft.com and use them at several merchants in Africa. You can obtain gift cards for well-known establishments such as Domino’s, Burger King, Pizza, Starbucks as well as retailers like Nike and Addidas.

While travelling using bitcoin seems like a cheaper and hassle free experience, you have to remember bitcoin adoption in Africa is still marginally low. Therefore, it would be wise to have a bitcoin debit card on you if bitcoin is your preferred spending currency when you are on the road.

You can also check for more African merchants who accept bitcoin here.

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Paxful’s #BuiltwithBitcoin Initiative to Fund Rwanda Water Project and Afghan Scholarships

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Paxful Fund Rwanda Water Project

Peer-to-peer bitcoin exchange Paxful has announced a new development in its #BuiltWithBitcoin charitable initiative. The company is launching a Rwandan water tank project that will be spearheaded by AnthemGold, their new initiative member; additional classroom resources for the Rwandan nursery school that was built as the first #BuiltwithBitcoin project, and award more than $15,000 scholarships for female Afghan refugees to pursue their careers in the United States.

Paxful’s scholarship beneficiaries include Susan Naseri who is interested in non-profit work and law; Dunia Azizi, who will pursue a mathematics degree; and Farzana Nawabi, who is working towards a bachelor’s degree in nursing. The beneficiaries were chosen by Zam Zam – a non-profit organization partner for the program – based on the personal essays they wrote describing the hardships encountered while getting an education, migrating to the U.S. and blending into the American society while pursuing their careers and raising families.

Susan Naseri, one of the beneficiaries, said: “As a recipient of the Zam Zam Water scholarship, I’d like to express endless gratitude and appreciation to Paxful and everyone involved in the donation process. Receiving this scholarship is not only an immense honor and privilege; it also eases my financial stress significantly. I’m beyond humbled and thankful for this scholarship; thank you eternally for helping me expand my education and fulfill my dreams.”

Paxful Expansion and Partnership

Paxful Fund Rwanda Water ProjectFor the initial scholarship, winners were given $5,000 paid in two installments each of $2,500. Zam Zam Water will continue running the scholarship as an annual program. In addition, both Paxful and Zam Zam welcomed AnthemGold to the #BuiltwithBitcoin initiative after the virtual currency provider contributed enough bitcoin to construct a 35,000-liter water tank as well as fund the cultivation of more than 80 sustainable community gardens and 30 goats for two villages in Rwanda.

Speaking of the initiative, AnthemGold’s CEO, Anthem Hayek Blanchard said: “I am grateful to participate in a project that builds sustainable and essential projects for communities in need. We hope to use Zam Zam’s knowledge to provide people with the building blocks needed to foster and grow.”

Paxful’s announcement comes after its May announcement regarding its investment expansion in Africa by electing a new African Regional Director and building an incubation hub for blockchain technology in Lagos, Nigeria. The hub is expected to launch in the fourth quarter of 2018 and will be a co-working space that will provide services such as mentorship, advice on ICOs, and individual and corporate blockchain training. Paxful will also be sponsoring various crypto-focused events in Nigeria and plans to hold talks with similar events in Kenya, Ghana, and Cameroon.

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Crypto-Finance Platform Nebeus Enters the Africa Market

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Nebeus
Image by Nebeus

Cryptocurrency users in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Africa, Nigeria, and Ghana now have full access to the suite of Nebeus services. The “crypto bank” Nebeus enables users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, enjoy remittance services, and access crypto-collateral loans, among many other services related to crypto-finance.

Opening access to Crypto-Finance services in Africa

Nebeus is a London-based fintech startup that runs a P2P exchange platform, offers crypto-collateral loans and incorporates a user-friendly bitcoin wallet. Nebeus was founded in 2014 with the aim of delivering a cheap, convenient and highly efficient service that catered to the demands and challenges of the evolving cryptocurrency landscape.

The crypto-finance platform will take advantage of local telcos and mobile money to penetrate these new markets, according to a company press release. Mobile banking has enabled African countries to leapfrog many developed nations by tapping into a previously unbanked segment of the population. The success of mobile money platforms, such as MPESA in Kenya, has attracted a number of fintech and blockchain companies to the African market.

The pay-in and pay-out corridors for the trading service include MPESA in Kenya, Airtel mobile money in Uganda, mobile money (Vodacom, Airtel, Tigo) for Tanzania, mobile money (MTN) Cameroon, Mobile Money (MTN) for Nigeria and MasterCard, Verve (Cards) and online banking for Nigeria. The established network of local payment partners will provide access to crypto-services for a population of over 400 million people.

Nebeus also aims to play a greater role in serving the African remittance market, which is estimated to receive billions of dollars annually. The company’s objective is to become the focal provider for this section of the African economy.

Alex Lempka, Nebeus’ Director of Communications, said: “Cryptocurrencies have a potential to make a significant impact on developing countries in many ways by providing a bridge into the global economy. Nebeus is looking forward to playing a major role in that by providing necessary infrastructure for all participants”.

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Golix Relaunches ICO and Expands Into Kenya, Uganda and South Africa

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Golix Launches ICO

Zimbabwe’s digital currency exchange, Golix is relaunching its token sale, which was planned for mid-May but abandoned after the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe issued a cryptocurrency ban which was later overturned by the Harare High Court.

The exchange, which has been operational for three years, has also announced that it has launched its services in Kenya, South Africa, and Uganda as from Friday 1 June 2018.

“As part of our strategy starting from Friday 1 June, people in Kenya, South Africa, and Uganda will be able to start trading from Golix. This is one of our plans to be the leading exchange in Africa, which inspired by the vision to provide financial autonomy in the continent, ” said Golix’s Head of Growth, Panashe Tapera.

Out of 54 countries in Africa, only three have local cryptocurrency exchanges while the rest are still to realise the potential held by the blockchain technology.

Golix has set its target to avail its services across the entire African continent to address the cryptocurrency infrastructure shortage which has slowed down the adoption of digital currencies.

Golix Lead of Special Projects, William Chui, stated that the token sale was an initiative they set afoot to enable instant remittances and international payments through cryptocurrencies.

The Token Sale

“Since from onset our main agenda is to provide financial autonomy in Africa. The GLX token is going to be used to facilitate and realise this agenda. People from respective different countries will be able to buy the GLX token from the exchange using their fiat currencies. The GLX token will be used to buy other Altcoins in the exchange, all this will be done at zero transactions fee.

“The GLX token will also be used to facilitate remittances and international payments at lesser fees, compared to current banking methods. This cascade immensely towards contribution of GDP growth in African countries,” said Chui.

The GLX token, an Ethereum ERC20 token, will be available for purchase from Friday 1 June 2018 10 AM UTM/GMT on the Golix token sale website, tokensale.golix.com.

Potential buyers can use bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) to buy the GLX token, which has been priced at $0.05612.

1,274,240, 097 tokens will be availed but only 637,120,049 are going to be sold during the token sale and the public will only be able to buy half of the tokens.

*Disclaimer: This post is informational only. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the mentioned company, product or service. BitcoinAfrica.io is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any loss or damage caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, product or service mentioned in this article.*

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