Styled after the most prominent crypto-currency, Bitcoin, Madibacoin is a South African mobile company’s attempt to enter the fray.

Yes, another day, another alt-coin. This time, it is Madibacoin, whose creators are so far only known as two South Africans with PhD degrees from the University of Pretoria. Not to be confused with the commemorative version, the Madibacoin can certainly be labeled a Bitcoin clone from a South African mobile marketing company, Mahala Mobile.

The name for the new digital coin has been taken from a nickname for South Africas late president, Nelson Mandela, who is commonly referred to by his Xhosa clan name, Madiba.

The founders of Mahala Mobile explain that the new currency will serve as a viable alternative to Bitcoin:

“If you are familiar with Bitcoin then see Madibacoin as an alternate crypto-currency which is based on the sound principles of Bitcoin. Madibacoins are created as a reward for payment processing work in which users who offer their computing power verify and record payments in a public ledger. Called mining, individuals engage in this activity in exchange for transaction fees and newly minted Madibacoins.

Users will need to install the Madibacoin wallet on their computers or smart phones. Similar to the Bitcoin blockchain, the wallet will generate a Madibacoin address that will be used to send and receive funds in MDC currency.

The company also confirmed that no more than 20 million Madibacoins will ever be created - a number thats very close to Bitcoins 21 million.

The mining process will also mirror Bitcoin, which the founders explain:

“A user mining Madibacoins is running a software program that searches tirelessly for a solution to a very difficult math problem whose difficulty is precisely known. When a solution is found, the user may tell everyone of the existence of this newly found solution, along with other information, packaged together in what is called a “block” – which create 50 new Madibacoins at present.

Mahala Mobile also offers a USB ASICminer for 199 ZAR or about 20 USD. While certainly an entry level ASIC miner when compared to the current high-performance BTC mining hardware offered nowadays, it will, nevertheless, help new users get their feet wet in the complex mining process. Mahala Mobiles website reads:

“An application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC), is an integrated circuit (IC) customised for a particular use, rather than intended for general-purpose use. A USB ASICMiner Block Eruptor is exactly this, it is designed to mine Madibacoins. It’s conveniently packed to run off your PC/Laptops USB port.

The value of the Madibacoin has not been determined yet and it is unclear how this digital coin hopes to stand out from the rest of the alt coin herd. However, Mahala Mobile stated that customers will be able to exchange Madibacoins for mobile airtime.

The company has not yet released any information as to which mobile networks will be supported but have announced that the system will operate based on a pin-less airtime deliver system to supply the user with minute plans ranging from 2 to 999 ZAR.

Without any notable features setting it apart from Bitcoin, Litecoin, Darkcoin and the rest, it will be interesting to monitor how the Madibacoin will fare in the real world. Will it take off as South Africas version of Bitcoin? Will it be confined to the countrys mobile market as a niche-coin that will facilitate payments for mobile service?