Pokemon Go in Nairobi with Bitcoin

It’s amazing the things we can do with Bitcoin, the Bitcoin blockchain and open source technology.

This week, I stumbled upon a review on Takara (demo), a treasure hunt Pokemon Go-esque game, that geocaches bitcoin. A location-based augmented reality game.

“The app lets user drop bitcoin tips anywhere in the world however collectors must visit a location where bitcoin has been dropped to pick it up.”

Takara

[Read more…]

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The Miseducation of Informal Sector Biashara

 

Biashara in Africa’s emerging economies – Nigeria and Kenya – are at loggerheads with the state.  An ever bulging young demographic  and a failure to absorb them into the formal economy has resulted in increased biashara.  The informal sectors’ low barrier to entry favours entrepreneurial Africans. They have carved out biashara opportunities for themselves mostly in trade and services.

But, the peculiar nature of the informal economy presents a challenge for state agencies. [Read more…]

Innovation in Kenya is like. . .

Innovation in Kenya

Mpesa takes on Banks with Mpesa Prepaid Card

 

lipa na mpesa cardToday, Mpesa announced it was piloting an Mpesa Payments Card, a  Lipa na Mpesa prepaid card. Mpesa card was inevitable, given the Kenyan local cards versus mobile payments turf wars pitting Kenyan Banks on one end vs Safaricom.

Techweez reported,

“The card, mirrors a user’s M-Pesa account, meaning whatever amounts are in your M-Pesa wallet are reflected in the card.”

 

[Read more…]

What is driving Kenya’s Bitcoin demand?

 

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Enterprising young Kenyan have figured out they can use bitcoin as a payment mechanism to take part in global online commerce . They buy bitcoin from a peer to peer market (here) and use it to pay for stuff online. For as little as 200 KES, they can purchase $ 2 worth of Bitcoin to make micro payments to their favorite sports bet pickers.

[Read more…]

The evolution of Kenya’s informal sector agency

Mobile money human agent were one of the key pillars of Mpesa and mobile money success.

Today, human agents in Kenya, and Nairobi have evolved to cater for an increasing number of services: cash in cash out, banking service, prepaid utility.

[Read more…]

Big Boost for Kenya’s Mobile Lenders

At a budget reading on Wednesday 8th June, Kenya’s Treasury Chief proposed adding more proxies in measuring the credit worthiness of individuals in Kenya. The Credit Reference Bureau, Kenya’s Central credit information sharing database, intends to incorporate rental payments records from landlords, utility payments – water and electricity – , mobile operator data, and Pay TV services.

[Read more…]

Overbanked in Nairobi

Here in Nairobi, I am have wide choice  of financial services and payments options. At any one moment in time, I have:

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Why Kenyans rush to cash, when banks go bust

Banking Crisis
Just now, Kenya’s #CoopBankTradingScam is trending on Twitter, and already, people are touting cash as a safer option

“If #CoopBankTradingScam goes on I bet people will panic just like Chase Bank & withdraw their cash. Co-op Bank could collapse by 4p.m!”

Kenya’s current recent banking crisis, if I may call it that, is a long list of 32 banks that fell to the wayside since 1988. Almost always, there is never enough cash to give. The reason is, all the money held in banks is debt, a string of electronic digits that says the bank owes you money. As we transition from cash to electronic money, we face a wider systemic risk.

[Read more…]

Kenya’s Banking crisis is a Testament to Bitcoin

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This week, the 3rd Kenyan bank in 8 months was placed under receivership for 12 months by the Central Bank of Kenya. The country’s Banking regulator says, Chase Bank of Kenya misreported its loans resulting in a social media triggered bank run. Kenya’s short banking history is littered with banks that fell to the wayside. Here is a list

@Owaah on twitter

I unashamedly drained my Chase Bank account the morning of the bank run. I would do it again with any other bank. Fraud is not patriotism.

[Read more…]