BitPesa to Help Make Global Payments in Africa Easier Using Crypto

CEO and founder of BitPesa, Elizabeth Rossiello, sat down with CNBC to discuss the goals of BitPesa and how their team plans to stimulate better business relationships by allowing its clienteles to effectively send and receive payments between Africa and the world.

BitPesa, is a blockchain-based payment platform founded in Nairobi in 2013, that ensures business payments are possible from and within “sub-Saharan Africa”. Introducing Africa in this scheme is definitely the first of its kind, however similar implementations have been noticed in regions like India and Mexico to name a few. In particular, the project works towards creating a market between Africa’s currency and Bitcoin (BTC).

Rossiello stated that the goal is to

“reduce friction in doing business in frontier markets,” and she believes that the best way to do is by acting as a “liquidity provider”. In response to a question asked regarding Bitcoin’s volatility, Rossiello stated that the ability to enter and exit the BTC market, can help to fight against volatility- suggesting it is a way to “deliver on need”.

The BitPesa project is definitely worthwhile, especially when it comes to transferring money within African regions, as consumers and businesses are stuck with high remittance fees (between 10 and 20%). This forces businesses to leave the Naira due to poor trades.

When asked the question, “Who’s your primary customer right now?”, Rossiello responded, “Exactly those small and medium enterprises all the way to the multinationals.” She went onto discussing the specs of blockchain, by stating that their average transaction size of $50,000.

To resolve the friction issue, BitPesa will supposedly help businesses by either, “trading out of their exposure in African currencies or trading in and… trading across African borders.”

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