African Bitcoin Startup Wins Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Grant, Launches …

Bitcoin startup Bitsoko announced that it soon will begin sponsoring a Blockchain Event Series in Nairobi, Kenya. The events, held monthly at the iHub innovation hub, will focus on Blockchain education and networking, and offer opportunities for local startups to pitch.

The Bitsoko team, which is spread across Africa with a presence in Ghana, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Sierra Leone and Rwanda, uses Bitcoin to revolutionize money transfer and remittance services. The company offers digital currency services ranging from remittance and money transfer services to payment processing for merchants at a fraction of the current rates.

Last month Bitsoko won a Grand Challenges Explorations grant from the Bill Melinda Gates Foundation.

“Daniel Bloch of Bitsoko in Kenya will develop their mobile money platform known as Bitsoko, which integrates Blockchain technology for low-cost transactions mediated by bitcoins,” states the Grand Challenges website. “They have built a mobile wallet and a point-of-sale service for merchants that allows money to be easily and securely transferred around the world using only a Bitsoko username, phone number or bitcoin wallet address. Bitsoko will also offer simplified options for paying household bills and payrolls. They will raise awareness of their platform to scale up the number of users and merchants, and continue to evaluate the security and capability of the platform.”

Titled “Enable Universal Acceptance of Mobile Money Payments,” the grant page notes that people living on under $2 per day need to transact with money just like everyone else, but most poor people, particularly those living in countries where poverty is widespread, have no access to formal financial products or services to help them manage these transactions and their money. That’s the reality that Bitsoko hopes to change.

The Impatient Optimist

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