Mobile money is mainstream in Kenya thanks to Safaricom, Kopo Kopo and several others who have made Lipa Na M-Pesa a reality.
However, mobile money looks cliched now and BitSoko, a new Kenyan startup wants to take bitcoins mainstream by enlisting thousands of local retailers, as small as Mama Mboga’s to accept bitcoins as a form of payment.
— BITSOKO (@Bitsoko_KE) July 24, 2014
— BITSOKO (@Bitsoko_KE) July 25, 2014
— BITSOKO (@Bitsoko_KE) July 22, 2014
According ot the firm, it makes it simple to get, store and spend bitcoins by connecting users to more merchants and services. BitSoko says users can get bitcoins by buying them at a local exchange, exchanging them for goods and services or even mining on them online. Then the Bitsoko mobile wallet helps them use them just like money at their local merchant.
With BitSoko all one needs is to download the app, top up and scan to pay. For security you will have to set up your four digit passcode though. The firm says it at the moment has 12 Merchants accepting bitcoin such as Bejo’s Bar & Restaurant in Ruiru and the Chase Cyber Cafe located in Nairobi’s Kenyatta Market.
As BitSoko launches, KipochiPay operations may have hit the ground due to issues related to M-PESA. Recently, Safaricom denied any deal with another digital currency group called Zetacoin, which many believe was a fraud. Kenya’s BitPesa however is so disruptive as one of the users who tested it said users can send money from the UK to Kenya in less than 30 seconds.