Native Startup Offers Crypto Remittance Service to Nigerians
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Bitstake, a cryptocurrency exchange startup, offers a wide range of solutions to the 178 million people of Nigeria. Unlike most Bitcoin exchanges, which rely on users having access to the Internet in order to serve them, Bitstake has made it possible for its customers to access and use their wallets through SMS.
This gives it a strong proposition in a country where only 38% of the population has access to the Internet, compared to a mobile phone penetration of close to 100%.
Nigeria has the largest population in Africa, as well as the largest economy, with a 2013 GDP of $523 billion. Ironically, Bitcoin-related enterprises have been relatively slow to take hold there. This is why many Bitcoin enthusiasts on the continent will be watching to see how Bitstake performs in the coming months.
Speaking to CoinTelegraph, the company’s CTO Alexander Christian said that Bitstake offers a platform that makes it easy for the local Bitcoin community to exchange between cryptocurrencies and naira, the local fiat currency.
Christian said the startup targets Nigerians who live abroad and frequently send money back home to their families. It gives them a secure and fast remittance service at a cost of 1%, which is much cheaper than the fees that MoneyGram or Western Union charge. He adds:
“By creating a wallet on Bitstake, one can send and receive money from anywhere in the world at the cost of 1% of the value moved. Those who choose to have their funds held on the platform will also earn interest. Furthermore, there are options of trading, lending and getting low-cost loans.”