22 October 2014

Kipochi integrates bitcoin wallet with M-Pesa

08 July 2013  |  6841 views  |  1 bitcoin

Kenyan bitcoin wallet Kipochi has launched a service which enables people to send and receive the virtual currency and convert it to and from an M-Pesa balance.

Kipochi - wallet in Swahili - lets users receive and send bitcoin around the world, working with any Web-enabled mobile phone.

By linking the wallet to the hugely popular mobile money service M-Pesa, the start-up says it is offering Kenyans an easier, faster and cheaper way to receive remittances than the alternatives offered by banks and firms like Western Union.

Says the company's CTO, Pelle Braendgaard, in a blog post: "Now with Kipochi, the remittances into Kenya has a faster and cheaper way to reach even the most remote areas in Kenya, villages with no banks or Western Union services - in an instant."

Braendgaard told Redditors that the firm does not want to compete with M-Pesa, adding: "Where we can make a difference in Kenya is with international and cross network transfers. We will support [mobile networks] Airtel, Orange and Yu here in Kenya. Also you will be able to send funds to M-Pesa users in Tanzania from Kenya, which M-Pesa doesn't currently support."

He also revealed that at the moment Kipochi is "actively blocking both US IP addresses and Phone numbers from the wallet," because of regulatory fears.

Comments: (1)

Amit Sharma - Emotion Associates - Nottingham | 09 July, 2013, 15:44

Love the bit about - actively blocking both US IP addresses and Phone numbers from the wallet because of regulatory fears.

Guess, the desire to launch and the PR value from being the first to launch supercedes the need to get regulatory approval first. 

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