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Meet Africa’s Blockchain Startups: Bankymoon

Bankymoon Homepage

Bankymoon is a South African blockchain consultancy and software company that was founded in 2014 to offer bespoke solutions to clients who want to integrate bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies into their systems.

According to Bankymoon’s CEO, Lorien Gamaroff, the Johannesburg-based startup aims to help institutions to embrace the blockchain. He believes the technology offers a more straightforward platform for people to develop business systems as well as an opportunity for the unbanked population.

Bankymoon’s smart power grid meters

In 2015, Bankymoon announced “bitcoin’s first killer app” dubbed ‘Smart Grids and the Blockchain’. The startup is providing people with the opportunity to top up so-called smart meters using the digital currency bitcoin in real-time. This allows individuals to pay for their utilities without having to use traditional banking solutions that can be subject to high transaction fees.

The Bankymoon smart meters come with their own unique bitcoin addresses. At the point where a smart meter receives a payment in bitcoin, Bankymoon computes the tariff and then tops up the meter for the user. The integration of digital currency payments into smart meters enables individuals to “send” electricity, gas, and water to anyone, anywhere in the world by topping their utility meters using bitcoin.

An international student who needs to top up their meter needs to phone their parents and ask them to send money. Then the parent now doesn’t have to remit anything. Instead, they can just go and top up the meter using bitcoin,said Gamaroff.

Gamaroff believes that the blockchain can be revolutionary for the energy sector. He says that users in the far south country could pay less if municipalities and utility suppliers agreed to embrace the new smart meters.

The blockchain provides a system of distributed ledgers, which replaces the human labour offered by municipalities and power company. Thus, the meters can reduce power bills and boost industrialisation as well as rural electrification.

Integrating the bitcoin blockchain into the electricity grid allows users to make automatic payments directly from their wallets. This is likely to get rid of late fees and thus reduce power debt. It also enables well-wishers to make generous contributions by paying electricity bills for schools, hospitals, and the needy.

Gamaroff adds that the smart meters are ideal for reaching the unbanked population. The programmable money nature of bitcoin, he says, will help the developing world to enjoy the integration of the blockchain to the smart grids.

To see Bankymoon’s bitcoin smart meter application in action, you can contribute to the company’s social project that enables donors to directly provide electricity to needy South African schools by sending bitcoin to the schools’ smart meters.

Consultancy services offered by Bankymoon

Alongside its bitcoin-powered smart meter project, the startup also offers blockchain consultancy services, seminars, and workshops. For example, Bankymoon helps organisations to understand the benefits and drawbacks of integrating private versus public blockchains and analyses existing systems to make valid recommendations on how to make them more efficient through the implementation of blockchain technology.

Bankymoon also develops blockchain-based systems, such as APIs that make the creation and management of digital assets easier and more user-friendly.

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How To Buy Bitcoin In South Africa

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If you are based in South Africa and want to buy bitcoin but are not sure how or where to start, then this guide if for you. In this article, you will discover the five best bitcoin exchanges you can use to buy bitcoin in South Africa using rand.

ICE3X

ice3xICE3X is a digital currency exchange that offers users the ability to buy bitcoin, litecoin and ether using South African rand. Buying bitcoin on ICE3X involves the following simple steps:

  • Log on to https://ice3x.com/ and create a free account. A verification mail will be sent to your email address subsequently for the verification of your ICE3X account and to activate it.
  • Log into your ICE3X account and click on the ‘deposit tab’ in the ‘Account’ tab in the blue menu bar. ICE3X bank account details will be provided. You can then use your internet banking to make a bank transfer into your ICE3X trading account. It is important to include your ICE3X account number in the transaction description when making the transfer. Your account will be credited within one to three working days.
  • After your account has been credited, you can execute a bitcoin purchase by clicking on the Rand Balance in your wallet to confirm that you are trading in the ZAR market. Then click on the trading in the menu. You will be presented with an option to either buy bitcoin, litecoin or ether. Enter the volume of bitcoin you wish to purchase and how much rand you are willing to offer for it. It is advisable to place a realistic order based on existing market pricing. Your order slip will be generated afterwards with the transaction commission reflecting.
  • You then click on the buy tab to execute your order. Order execution might take a few moments since it will need a corresponding sell order to finalise.
  • Your bitcoin holdings will then appear in your wallet on your ICE3X account.

Luno

LunoLuno does not only serve as a bitcoin exchange, it also provides a mobile bitcoin wallet and offers digital learning materials for beginners. To buy bitcoin on Luno you have to do the following:

  • Log on to https://www.luno.com/ and create a free account. With this, you can get either a web wallet or mobile wallets (for Android and iOS) or both.
  • You can select a preferred way to transfer fiat currency after the Luno wallet has been created. You can do this using your local bank internet transfer or your bank cards (Credit, Debit or Pre-paid cards). Do remember to include your Luno account details in the transfer description!
  • Once your Luno account has been credited, you can execute a bitcoin purchase order and boom – you now hold bitcoin in your Luno wallet.

Remitano

RemitanoRemitano offers swift purchases of bitcoin as well as bitcoin remittances. This platform acts as a peer-to-peer (P2P) intermediary and provides an escrow service for the purpose of transaction security. To buy bitcoin using this platform the following easy steps can be taken:

  • Log on to https://remitano.com/ and register by entering your email address in the dialogue box provided and click on ‘continue’. Account login details will then be sent to your email, which you will then use to access your Remitano account.
  • You get to access your Remitano account after it has been verified and then you click on the Buy/Sell option in the menu bar. A list of bitcoin buyers and sellers within South Africa will then be made available to you.
  • You click on any of the sellers to place a buy bitcoin order instantly. The process is usually mediated by the Remitano platform by serving as an escrow that holds funds until the transaction has been confirmed by both parties.

LocalBitcoins

Convert Bitcoin Into Local CurrencyLocalBitcoins is the biggest peer-to-peer trading platform globally, which brings bitcoin buyers and seller together to create a flourishing bitcoin trading environment. The following steps are involved in purchasing bitcoin using Localbitcoins:

  • Register a free account by logging onto https://localbitcoins.com/
  • After your account has been created, go to the main page and fill in the bitcoin amount you want to buy in rand. Then, you then select the payment method you prefer in the purchase transaction.
  • Users of the platform are ranked based on transaction history, which makes it easier to select who to deal with from the list of advertisers. It is advisable to select sellers with relatively high reputation scores. You can also see the typical response time for each seller. These response times have been automatically calculated by the platform using special algorithms based on previous transactions.
  • After clicking on the ‘Buy’ button, you will be given details of the transaction including the seller’s terms and conditions. You can choose whether or not to proceed with the particular buyer depending on how comfortable you are with these terms.
  • To execute a trade, type in the blue box how much bitcoin you want in rand and also add a message to the seller after which you click on the ‘send trade request’ button. Be certain you are willing to execute the purchase before clicking on the button. The order will be automatically cancelled if payment is not made within the allowed one hour transaction window.
  • Once the payment has been made, click on the ‘I have paid’ button. Once the seller confirms receipt of your payment, the bitcoin will be released from the Localbitcoin escrow into your online bitcoin wallet on LocalBitcoins.

Paxful

PaxfulPaxful is a peer-to-peer (P2P) bitcoin marketplace for buyers and sellers anywhere in the world. The following steps will allow you to purchase bitcoin using rand:

  • The first step is to log onto the site – https://paxful.com/. Click on the ‘Buy bitcoin’ option in the top menu bar.
  • You then enter the rand amount of bitcoin you want to buy in the box that will be made available. You then select the payment method you intend to use for the transaction. After selecting a way to pay, you click on the ‘search’ button to get a list of sellers who are willing to sell you the amount of bitcoin you requested and are also inclined to your payment method.
  • Just like LocalBitcoins, the reputations of sellers are scored and it is advisable that you select buyers with high reputation to deal with. You then select a seller and begin your purchase order. It is important to read the ad to see the seller’s contact details and terms!
  • You click on the ‘buy now’ button when you are comfortable with the conditions. The trade details will then pop-up on the left-side of the screen and a chat box on the right side of the screen where you can chat with the seller so you can both track the stages of transaction execution.

Hopefully, you have found this guide useful and are on your way to purchasing your first bitcoins. And remember, once you have bought bitcoin on an exchange, transfer the coins to your personal bitcoin wallet to keep them safe and secure!

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