The Grand Signal

A digital magazine covering the intersection of technology, human rights and social change.

Bitcoin hits Kenya

Photo Courtesy of laura ponchia |

With the rapid proliferation of cellphones across the developing world, mobile payments have become particular popular. As of yet, however, a standardized platform hasn’t been stablished as various third-party systems are used in chunks across the board. In Kenya, however, a new bitcoin based mobile payments platfom called M-Pesa has rapidly expanded by offering mobile bitcoin money transfers.

By embracing bitcoins, M-Pesia has managed to boast negligible ($0.04) transaction fees — a key advantage in an African landscape where microfinancing is common. Experts have lauded the African integration of bitcoins, suggesting the developing world is the likely platform of growth for the currency.

“Who are the first types of people to use any kind of new technology? The ones that need to use it the most, right?” Charlie Shrem of Bitinstant commented at a recent conference.

Nearly 30% of Kenyans have already adapted the technology, and growth continues to increase.

via motherboard

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