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Although Africa is yet to witness the adoption of cryptocurrencies in high levels as it is in the United Kingdom, Europe, and in the United States, the growth is remarkable. Individuals and start-ups are doing a commendable job in building a Bitcoin ecosystem in Africa, taking businesses in the continent to the next level.
Bitcoin trading volumes have also been on the rise in Africa, thanks to newer local peer-to-peer exchanges. These exchanges include ice3x, Luno, NairaEx, BitcoinFundi, and BitPesa, among others.
But beyond the borders of the continent, other notable exchanges that have tapped into the African cyrpotuccurencies trade opportunities include Kraken, BitRefill, Cahsaa, Kobocoin, and BitStamp.
While many African countries are yet to offer a legislative environment conducive for Bitcoin and blockchain start-ups, four countries are currently playing an active role. Cape Town in South Africa, Nairobi in Kenya, Lagos in Nigeria, and Accra in Ghana are considered the major hubs for trading and exchanging Bitcoin in Africa.
In Botswana, a marketplace known as Satoshicentre Pty is already taking shape, taking centre-stage for Bitcoin functions in the capital. Both local and international currencies (USD and Euros) will be exchangeable for Bitcoins, using ATMs spread around the city.
Zimbabwe is also catching up, already boasting of BitcoinFundi, a Bitcoin exchange that allows users to use mobile money or banks accounts to buy or sell Bitcoins. Other countries include Tanzania and Uganda, which are already using Bitbond in partnership with BitPesa.
If you are physically present in Africa, it is advisable that you check out on the specific regulations and use of cryptocurrencies, but here are the top 3 Bitcoin wallets you would wish to consider.
BitX is a digital Bitcoin Wallet app, supported in Apple and Android iOS devices, thanks to a development team based in Cape Town, working for BitX, a company whose headquarter is in Singapore.
This wallet aims to facilitate buying and selling of cryptocurrencies in South Africa, as well as Malaysia, Namibia, and Kenya. According to the Marcus, the CEO and Co-founder of BitX, the app has an easy to use interface, and in the event that a user’s phone is lost, Bitcoins are usually stored in an offline vault that is safe and secure. And should need arise, the app allows makes it possible for users to verify their mobile numbers, and makes it easy to upload documents for identification purposes.
This wallet is largely used in South Africa, and has existed since 2013 in more than 40 countries globally. All you need to do is visit their official website and sign up for a free Bitcoin wallet, an app that works well with Android or iOS. Once your account is set up, you can use your credit card or local bank account to transfer money, whichever way is convenient for you.
At this point, all you need is to convert your fiat currency to Bitcoin. While little is said about converting Bitcoins back to other currencies, with a Luno wallet you can spend your virtual currencies to make online payments, or to send to your friends around the world.
In case you have no immediate plans to use your virtual coins, the wallet is safe and secure for storage for future use or investment. In countries supported with Luno, all you would need is a smartphone, and transactions can be done anytime from anywhere.
Bitmari Mobile Wallet
Thanks to high penetration and literacy rates in Zimbabwe, the urge to use and adopt new currencies has seen the country embrace the use of Bitmari Bitcoin mobile wallet, using which the African market can enjoy financial solutions and remittances based on Bitcoins.
With almost $2 billion in remittance payments from millions of Zimbabweans living in other countries or continents, and with the world continually embracing Bitcoins, this is a timely intervention for Zimbabwe and other African countries, with the remittance service attracting a 5% charge.
The African indigenous languages supported by Bitmari include Swahili, Wolof, Ndebele and Shona. The private keys are secured locally and not in the cloud. Whether wallets are personal or shared, security features involve use of multisignatures.
All you therefore need to do as a sender is to create a BitMari account, and decide determine how much money you wish to transfer. Whether you log in to your account using the mobile app or website, charges are deducted in Bitcoins, and payments made beyond geographical boundaries can be collected at respective exchanges in the recipient’s country or using their local mobile wallets.
Another mobile wallet that is coming up nicely in Kenya is Bitsoko. This Android mobile wallet is an integration of the blockchain technology with current mobile money transfer platforms in the continent, aimed at easing the burden of money transfer cost.
What happens is that users in developed countries can send money in African countries in the form of Bitcoins, but the end user will received the funds as mobile money.
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