Through innovation and funding, Kenyan bitcoin startup Bitsoko promises to revamp the way commerce is conducted in bustling markets in Nairobi and cities across Africa. The company has invented a digital wallet that employs blockchain technology to allow a smoother, cheaper transfer of funds between individuals.
Used in Bitcoin, blockchain technology saves and encrypts transaction records that allow for safe, speedy monetary transactions at a low cost.
This form of technology expands access to financial services for merchants and their customers. For sellers, such programming allows them to view and track customer payments while aggregating this data to produce complete financial and stock records, customer invoices and receipts, financial statements, and tax returns.
The acceleration of blockchain technology will also make transferring funds between individuals cheaper, encouraging mobile commerce.
Developments such as this will provide an alternative to inconvenient, slow transactions using cash or credit cards and will follow at the heels of the economic boom occurring in Africa. Such technology will foster economic growth and pair customers with suitable goods and services in a more efficient way.
According to Allan Juma, co-founder of Bitsoko, the brand hopes to be a leader in mobile finances, noting how “the financial structure in Kenya and throughout Africa has changed rapidly since the birth of mobile money by M-Pesa. We believe that this will only continue to grow”.
The company has recently attracted attention from international investors and organizations as well. It was recently awarded $100,000 from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation through the Global Challenges Explorations, an initiative providing support to groups working toward solutions to global problems.
Programs such as this one provide an incentive for entrepreneurs who have experienced societal challenges to develop efficient, sustainable strategies for improvement.
With its GCE funding, Bitsoko plans on expanding its access internationally, bringing mobile banking services to Ghana, Zimbabwe, and Sierra Leone in a project co-founder Daniel Bloch has named “Enable Universal Acceptance of Mobile Money Payments”.
Bringing this technology to new countries will spur economic growth and technological innovation that has been heating up Africa in recent years. With increased transactional accessibility, sellers can expect to create a larger, more diverse consumer base and enhanced output.
Partnerships between international organizations such as the Gates Foundation and local businesses can lead to far-reaching global solutions that empower entrepreneurs and their communities.
– Jenny Wheeler