BitX Opens First Bitcoin Wallet and Exchange in Kenya
BitX launched the first wallet and exchange service in Kenya on August 6.
BitX Kenya is a local Bitcoin exchange that enables its users to buy and sell bitcoins with Kenyan Shillings. The company also provides a wallet service, which is said to be hosted on secured servers, with the majority of customer Bitcoin funds kept in what BitX calls 'deep freeze' storage; or multi-signature wallets with private keys stored in geographically distinct bank vault.
In October 2013, BitX, the largest Bitcoin exchange on the African continent, was acquired by South Africa-based Bitcoin software firm Switchless. The team was then composed of three people, one of whom is the former Google engineer, Timothy Stranew. Today, the team comprises of 7 individuals from all over the world and from diverse professional backgrounds.
BitX also operates in other countries including Brazil, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Namibia, Nigeria, the Philippines, Poland, South Africa and Turkey.
In July, leading South African payment processor PayFast, partnered up with BitX to start accepting Bitcoin payments. BitX posted on Twitter:
30 000+ South African online merchants can now accept Bitcoin - very excited to partner with @PayFast.— BitX (@MyBitX) July 17, 2014
Against all expectations, many Bitcoin related businesses have been created in the continent during the past year. BitPesa, a company that enables its users abroad to send money to Kenya through Bitcoin, officially launched in July.
Users only have to send their bitcoins to BitPesa, which converts them to Kenyan shillings and sends them to the recipient's mobile phone account. BitPesa only charges 3% as remittance fee, against the usual 12% from Western Union or MoneyGram. Considering the estimated US$1.8 billion remittance transfer fees spent each year by Africans, the continent is definitely ready to benefit from Bitcoin.
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