UK based telecommunications firm, Vodafone, is running a German advertisement promoting Bitcoin (BTC) as a future means of payment. Is this a dig at Facebook’s Libra after leaving the Association earlier in the year? Or is BTC getting a nod to join the famed M-PESA service?
In a hilarious advert to promote Vodafone Germany, the company included Bitcoin (BTC) in their Facebook commercial in what many consider an ironic taunt at Libra. Earlier in the year, Vodafone, left the Libra Association, alongside seven other companies, complaining of the regulatory scrutiny on the project.
Libra is a stablecoin that aims to offer the bankless and underbanked population access payment services globally. However, a number of governments, including the U.S., have raised concerns on the crypto which discouraged 8 of the ten companies signed to the Association to drop out.
Could the new ad by Vodafone be a dig at Libra?
The new ad featuring the top altcoin as a possible payment system is doing rounds across Bitcoin communities on Facebook, which is quite ironic, as mentioned before. Having left the tech giant’s project in January, a promotion of BTC as pocketable money may raise questions on Vodafone’s intentions.
WHAT DOES THE ADD SAY?!" – Oh – wait….
The text means: "What will Grandma give you if everyone pays with Bitcoin in the future?" ^pdd
— Vodafone Deutschland (@vodafone_de) February 21, 2020
PayPal, one of the companies that left the Association, already announced they will be working on their own payment system on blockchain technology. Could this be a similar case to Vodafone?
Vodafone’s plan to bank the unbanked
Vodafone states it left the Libra Association to concentrate on its mobile payment system, M-PESA, which offers close to 20 million people payment services similar to the banks. M-PESA has been nothing but revolutionary in the past 13 years of operation. The service only requires a SIM card and account PIN to function. M-PESA offers the bankless and underbanked population in Kenya, Tanzania, India and other countries around the world a bank on their phones.
Through the app, users can pay bills, buy goods and services, top up airtime, save and earn interest as well as request for a loan. The app is integrated to top banks such as Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) allowing users to deposit and withdraw cash from their bank accounts seamlessly.
Notwithstanding M-PESA also integrated international remittances i.e. Western Union and PayPal to allow users to send money globally. Could the latest Bitcoin ad be an addition to this famed mobile payment service?
Bitcoin on MPESA?
While the laws in Kenya, its most prominent market, still remain unclear and vague – with the Central Bank only offering a caution against dealing with crypto – Vodafone will take some time to introduce BTC to MPESA. However, interest in blockchain and crypto in Kenya is skyrocketing, and offers an opportune time for Vodafone to make their move.