BitFury Invests in BitPesa, Pan-Africa Bitcoin Trading Platform

bitcoinBitFury, the world’s leading bitcoin blockchain infrastructure provider and transaction processing company has just made an investment in BitPesa — a universal bitcoin payment and trading platform for Africa.

The official announcement below suggests that bitcoin is seeking a way to give the pan-African continent open access to the financial benefits of a globalized economy.

Our mission is to make global transacting easier, especially for those who continue to face obstacles to financial growth.

A secure, transparent and trusted form of exchange is being made possible by BitPesa, and our investment will allow us to work together to leverage the innovative power of the Bitcoin Blockchain for the benefit of the entire pan-African continent.

The strategic investment was made by BitFury’s investment arm BitFury Capital. For those new to the African digital currency scene, BitPesa allows businesses and individuals worldwide send instant and secure payments to and from Nigeria, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. This is made possible by accepting bitcoin and exchanging it for local African currencies, which are the deposited into African bank accounts or mobile money wallets.

BitPesa also sells bitcoin in Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria, to help those without access to the usual bitcoin exchange hubs. And, since BitPesa is licensed by the FCA as an authorized Payment Institution, it’s more trusted than informal brokers or cash agents, who are the traditional means for people in Africa to seek exchange.

BitPesa can use bitcoin to exchange directly between African currency and other global currencies, relieving dependence on the U.S. dollar and taking away the pain of high interest rates. Currently, the lion’s share of over 30 million diaspora Africans — sending home roughly $40 billion per year — pay an average of 12.3% to send a mere $200 dollars in most African banks. PayPal still charges a processing fee, and is far from a real-time ledger compared to bitcoin. And, what’s been referred to with enmity in Africa as the “duopoly” of Western Union and MoneyGram doesn’t assuage the remittance racket, either.

Instead of forcing all concerned to overshoot their target amounts to lose this logistical drag, BitPesa could override the system and open the pan-African wallet to the world economy, sans tax.

Allen Scott, Chief Editor of bitcoin news site CoinTelegraph, is optimistic about the future of bitcoin in Africa;

“…a decentralised system of exchanging value directly across borders has tremendous value – not especially for big banks – but more so for individuals and communities that have been historically excluded from the global economy.”

In response to BitFury’s investment, BitPesa CEO Elizabeth Rossiello said

[They’ve had] a long history working in frontier markets and nothing is more important to our team than an understanding and support of the work we do.

BitFury’s innovation is for all practical purposes unparalleled in the West. Let’s hope their investment in BitPesa makes Allen’s words ring true.

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