Machankura, a company that provides digital wallet services, has enabled Bitcoin users in nine African countries, including Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and five other African countries to make bitcoin transactions without a high-tech phone or internet.
According to Machankura, African citizens can transact with bitcoin just with text codes on a feature phone. Although the rest of the world goes through a smartphone revolution, a lot of Africans currently use phones from the mid-2000s with a much lower degree of technological innovation.
In South Africa’s slang, Machankura means ‘money’. The company emerged to enable Africans with low-quality mobile devices to use bitcoin as a means to transact, much to their desire. Naturally, doing this on old-style phones brings quite a challenge from a technological point of view. Without the internet and modern phones, money exchange can only happen through something resembling text messages.
According to Machankura, using Bitcoin’s Lightning Network, faster and cheaper transactions can work on lower-quality phones as well. As stated by the South African developer and computer science researcher who launched Machankura, the company was created to allow more communities to gain access to bitcoin even without an Internet-connected device.