Accelerating Bitcoin adoption, and therefore financial inclusion, in Africa means offering Lightning access through lower-tech phones.
This is an opinion editorial by Heritage Falodun, a Bitcoin analyst and computer scientist based in Nigeria.
People’s opinions are colored with different perspectives, but mine is all about painting the big picture of what Africans are in need of: Africans want and will adopt any solution that can solve her problems in real time. Making payment rails less complex and to be as low tech as possible is actually one of the prerequisites of enabling financial inclusion and lowering the users’ barriers of entry in Africa.
Let’s take a deeper dive into what this entails and understand why these solutions could work exceptionally well for Africans.
At the time of this writing, Machankura seems to work well and its website indicates it has coverage in at least six Africa countries — Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda — with the USSD codes and step-by-step instructions for use included as well.
Dialing any of these codes in those jurisdictions should directly lead users to send bitcoin, receive bitcoin, review account details (balances and transaction history) or buy goods/services.
BitText appears to be an open-source version of Machankura, throwing its two hands into the air with anticipation of global contributions that could fix and improve this Bitcoin-on-USSD solution by better targeting self custody, security and privacy, as well as transactions interoperability with Bitcoin’s Layer 2 Lightning Network.
This is a guest post by Heritage Falodun. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.