In 2008, the introduction of cryptocurrency promised new options for people who had lost jobs, homes and their financial future at the hands of faceless bankers and institutions.Alternative Digital Currencies
Prepaid minutes are used in countries like Kenya as a form of digital currency. Mobile money services like M-Pesa by leading mobile operator Safaricom, allows subscribers to use their phones as a wallet. Revenue from M-Pesa stood at $741 million last year.
It’s already possible to top-up your mobile phone with Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and other cryptocurrencies. Services like Bitrefill let you recharge in 160 countries.
What if users can convert these digital minutes into fiat, local currencies or crypto? They gain the power to pay for goods and services in their local economies. They can send and transfer funds across mobile carriers. These consumers and business owners experience a new range of financial services.
In 2018, Telcoin saw an opportunity to tap into the global remittance market using cryptocurrency distributed by mobile operators. The company launched an ICO and reached its $25 million hard cap in just 20 days.
Tom Meredith, founder of BitMinutes created the company to provide affordable banking to the unbanked. He noticed that people in some developing countries were using prepaid minutes similar to a currency, but also that they were limited with what they could do with their minutes compared to fiat.
Akoin is a cryptocurrency being developed by the artist, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Akon. The American Senegalese visionary is building a platform where token holders can interact with various DApps in the “Akoin ecosystem”, marketplace and the local economy.Africa, The Flash Point
Mobile money is booming in Africa. Over half of all mobile money services in the world are in Sub-Saharan Africa. According to Forbes, the region will have 500 million cellphone subscribers by 2020....