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Bitwala Offers Bitcoin to M-Pesa Services in Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, and Tanzania

Bitwala has announced a new bitcoin to M-Pesa service meaning users can now send bitcoin to an M-Pesa account in Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, and Tanzania for free. M-Pesa is a widely used mobile phone-based money system used in Afghanistan, India and Africa.

“We want to be a part of the mobile money revolution, and we’re stepping it up a notch by enabling anyone to send money to any mobile money account in Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda using bitcoins,” said Jörg von Minckwitz, CEO of Bitwala

One of the most successful examples of mobile money in Africa is MPesa. In layman’s terms, MPesa is a mobile money transfer application where you can send money straight from your subscribed cell phone without the need of having a bank account. MPesa was first introduced in Kenya back in 2007 by Safaricom in partnership with Vodafone and have transformed how money is sent across the African continent.

In sub-Saharan Africa, mobile phone penetration continues to rise with roughly 76% of the population having a mobile phone subscription. Mobile money transactions in Sub-Saharan Africa hit $656 million in 2014, and is expected to double, reaching $1.3 billion in 2018.

MPesa was designed as a solution for foreign workers in sending remittances back home. It was also designed to provide unbanked people with a more affordable and easy payment system. It has enjoyed a high level of adoption, with over 96% of households outside of Nairobi having at least one MPesa account today.

MPesa is a disruptive force, where at least 25 million Kenyans have transacted $28 billion in 2015 through the Safaricom-owned service. To put things in perspective, this was equivalent to 44% of Kenya’s GDP at the end of the period.

Richard Kastelein
In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, the Netherlands where he has set down his anchor to raise a family and write. Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015) and director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He has written over 2500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published in Harvard Business Review, Venturebeat, Wired, The Guardian and a number of other publications. Kastelein has an Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute software and Technology. He has over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division. Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology at over 50 events in 30+ cities.
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