As First Bitcoin ATM in Africa to Come, Poverty Alleviation Efforts Catch Pace

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As First Bitcoin ATM in Africa to Come, Poverty Alleviation Efforts Catch Pace
As First Bitcoin ATM in Africa to Come, Poverty Alleviation Efforts Catch Pace

As First Bitcoin ATM in Africa to Come, Poverty Alleviation Efforts Catch Pace

Poverty is rampant in the most parts of Africa and not just the African governments but also the global organizations are putting their efforts to reduce it with their means.

However, it takes more than effort; for instance, using the right technology like Bitcoin, can definitely help to reach to the people who need the help most.

According to various estimates up to 80% of African adults have no bank account. In such a situation the pertinent question is how to reach to these people. Then came a solution in the form of mobile phones and if these can be used for transferring money, the efforts may get higher chances of success.

Currently, there are more than 16% mobile phone users who can use them for mobile-money platforms. If the potential in mobile-money transfer can be cashed in, it will give hope for millions of people in Africa which receives $50 billion in remittances annually. As a lot of this amount goes to fees, sometimes as high as 12%, the need for reduction is being felt.

Here comes the role of Bitcoin wherein there is almost nil processing fees and it can definitely become an alternative to the wiring services providers like Western Union which quite significantly. Efforts are being put to improve internet access and provide immediate conversion into local currencies.

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Bitcoin ATM to Provide Services to Unbanked Africans

However, Bitcoin enthusiasts believe that with Bitcoin reaching to the people who don’t have bank account is easy and fast as well. The first focus from Zach Harvey’s company Lamassu wherein he works as the chief executive is to provide an opportunity in the form of Bitcoin ATM to Africans so that they have easy access to the digital currency.

The first ever Bitcoin ATM is going to be installed at affluent Midrand area of Johannesburg by the end of June. The initiative was taken by a local company, ZABitcoinATM which hopes that with the machine it will allow clients to insert local cash and change it into the crypto-currency minted on the internet, to be used at nearby businesses which have joined the scheme.

Africa has been paid attention by several other Bitcoin companies as well. Last year, global Bitcoin wallet service Kipochi launched a product that allowed people in Africa to send and receive Bitcoins. They could also convert them to and from the Kenyan currency M-Pesa.

Now, with Bitcoin ATM, the Bitcoin companies hope that though it will take some time to reach to the unbanked people, people in Africa will definitely take advantage of paperless money.

To contact the reporter of this story: Deepak Tiwari at deepak@forexminute.com