CEO Weekends: Ghana’s Kitiwa Converts Local Curency into Bitcoins

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In most of Africa payment firms like PayPal and VISA have some countries blacklisted thus making it hard for business running on the continent to rely on almost nothing to do business online. Others that operate, like Western Union which just launched in Nigeria and traditional banks though they charge high fees according to TransferWise.

A group of Nigerians are even petitioning PayPal to launch in the country.

Now, forget Western Union, PayPal, VISA and all the banks.

Just launched in Ghana, Kitiwa wants to help anyone send and receive money, cheaply, instantly, using bitcoin technology. The firm says it has began in Ghana but will steadily spread across the continent to help users convert their local currencies into bitcoin to power online commerce as online payments have a major barrier to merchants in Africa.

Kitiwa, aiming to be Africa’s Coinbase was founded by Meltwater’s Nikunj Handa, Mawuli Adzoe, Emmanuel Quartey, Falk Benke as a tool to help Ghanaians convert Ghana Cedis into Bitcoins, which give Ghanaian’s the power to shop or sell online. The team says users can pay for things at any of the growing list of companies that accepts the digital currency across the world.

Utah Software Engineer Mints Physical BitcoinsWith various meetups in the country, Kitiwa aims to make Ghanians fall in love with Bitcoins. They have already processed over $33,000 worth of bitcoins. And have come up with tutorials to help users send or receive bitcoins, and are also helping them open their bitcoin wallet addresses in a few seconds on their blog.

Of course they are just beggining, but their energy can be felt across Africa and they join BitX, BitPesa, Kipochi among others. South Africa’s IT education firm Tremendis Learning has said it will launch Africa’s first Bitcoin ATM in Africa in Johannesburg soon.