BitPesa: Using Bitcoin to Reduce Friction in Doing Business in Africa


Fighting poverty in Africa is no easy feat. Money is especially hard to come bay and unemployment rates continue to rise in number. Even then, the African continent remains a lucrative market when it comes to remittance transfers. Many African residents travel abroad to find work and send money back home. This has become a huge business for remittance companies such as MoneyGram and Western Union.

Despite this, remittance companies still pose a problem for consumers, as they have to travel hours to pick up money and go back home. Furthermore, remittance companies charge relatively high fees to and from Africa. Convenience, therefore, comes with a high price. Although transfer fees have gone down in recent years, there’s still a lot of improvements needed.

This is where companies like BitPesa make huge inroads regarding this matter. While there remains challenges and setbacks, the company is still pushing with its vision of changing the world one user at a time.

The Rise of BitPesa

BitPesa uses bitcoin as a means of settlement between two brokers. Compared to traditional currencies, bitcoin can eliminate friction and provide a higher form of liquidity throughout African markets. By accepting the decentralized nature of cryptocurrencies, BitPesa is showing usefulness of bitcoin in the long run.

While bitcoin’s volatility makes it less favorable as a currency, and yet some African currencies are known to display more volatility compared to cryptocurrencies. Elizabeth Rossellio, BitPesa CEO explained how one would be able to purchase and sell bitcoin quickly in the time of need. Its volatility, therefore, does not pose a huge problem unlike what most people would assume.

BitPesa aims to help local companies using Bitcoin by providing a solution to the friction associated with doing business in Africa. While this may not be an easy task, BitPesa believes small-scale businesses, consumers and international companies can benefit from crypto-based services.


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