Bitsoko logo

Bitsoko is a Kenyan based bitcoin start-up founded in 2014. It is an android digital wallet that enables users to send money. Their primary target market is merchants and retail consumers. It is currently available in Kenya and the greater sub-Saharan Africa. The Bill and Melinda gates foundation awarded bitsoko $100 000 back in 2015 to help troubleshoot Africa’s now-ubiquitous mobile money systems.

mode of operation

Bitsoko utilises blockchain technology to bring services to merchant and payment services. Its users download the Bitsoko app and set up a password. They top up with bitcoin, and it is all set up. Users can transfer digital currency, pay bills and make purchases with Bitsoko. Upon payment using bitcoin, most traders will transfer bitcoin via the app and receive mobile money in exchange. The app allows users to receive customer feedback while offering customers loyalty points and delivery options. It also enables merchants to manage their inventory and to keep track of their bills.

Bitsoko, in partnership with coinwiz, is striving to create services around the wallet and increase trading with bitcoin. As things stand, all-digital currency does in many parts of Africa switch to fiat currency and vice versa. Bitsoko has thus far signed up local businesses such as restaurants, cyber cafes and roadside vegetable vendors. Bitsoko generates revenue by charging .01% of each transaction.

Impact

Bitsoko removes the cost of transferring money between two individuals and increases access to payment services while allowing bitcoin to be instantly sent worldwide at a minimal cost.

It integrates blockchain technology into the current mobile money platform in Africa and service providers, allowing access to funds worldwide through bitcoin to be obtained as mobile money.

By integrating specific services,, this platform hypothesises that these easy-to-use services will create a system that can support small scale payments in all aspects of financial life. Bitsoko can replicate services to integrate blockchain with mobile money in East Africa, throughout the continent and the rest of the world.

Bitsoko has come up with a new approach to crowdfund based on the Initial Coin Offering model (ICO) model. Bitsoko aims to offer the model to non-blockchain based companies to help them raise money and funding for their projects and start-ups using their ICO model.

Bitsoko has also introduced bits loyalty, a new customer loyalty rewards platform premised on the blockchain. It allows merchants to reward customers with bits tokens. Merchants acquire IoT devices that can communicate with smart devices. Thus, any merchant can automatically award a customer with bits to use with any other participating merchant.

Challenges

As with any new start-up, bitsoko has had issues with the legislation. Blockchain developers in Kenya encounter regulatory frameworks and accompanying issues such as the Data Protection Act, which regulates non-anonymized/personal data processing.

Although there is a knowledge gap issue with regards to comprehension of blockchain Kenyans are quite receptive to new technology.

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