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Kenyans Will Soon Be Able To Send Bitcoin By Phone 83

jfruh writes "M-Pesa is a wildly popular mobile payment system in Kenya, which allows citizens of a country with a poor banking infrastructure to easily transfer money to each other using ubiquitous dumbphones. Currently the system only works in the local currency, but there are plans afoot to allow users to transfer Bitcoin — which would help Kenyans working abroad send money back home without paying high international bank transfer fees."
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Kenyans Will Soon Be Able To Send Bitcoin By Phone

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 12, 2013 @05:34AM (#44259433)

    Having lived in Kenya for 5 years, actually MPESA, and the mobile networks in general, are much better than what's in the West. You can transfer money to anyone, anytime, with any phone. Transfer to and from your bank account. Signal strength is consistently 100% in any town of any significance. Fast Internet even in many places away from towns. PAYG calls 1c or 2c/minute, Internet 1c/Mb or less, tethering included on PAYG. Coming back to the West meant getting used to rather inferior service!

    David Anderson

  • by eksith (2776419) on Friday July 12, 2013 @05:48AM (#44259479) Homepage

    Cue the Bit419 emails.

    But seriously, this is a step in the right direction. The allure of Bitcoin to me isn't even the privacy (which is debatable) it's that, by not having "central" anything, it truly democratizes access to currency. Forget the hoarders, the conversions and the "banks"; this is a means to transfer money that everyone should have access to.

  • Third-party (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 12, 2013 @06:27AM (#44259603)

    The summary made it sound like the M-Pesa system was going to add support for bitcoin somehow ("there are plans afoot to allow users to transfer Bitcoin"), but from TFA, it's just an unrelated third party offering a service that lets you buy bitcoin and pay via M-Pesa.

    Essentially some guy put up a website where you can buy bitcoin.

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