Africa has huge population that has not been able to access banking and financial services even in the 21st century; however, two Bitcoin voucher services providers Azteco, and Xoin are now trying to reach to the same unbanked population. The British Bitcoin voucher service Azteco and South African startup Xoin have separately launched services in Africa.
According to their press notes the services are designed for one potentially huge emerging market; namely, the unbanked populations of Africa. Out of the two, Azteco claims that it is the easiest way to buy Bitcoins and according to the company it is in the final stage of development of its voucher product and is already accepting applications from prospective vendors.
On the other hand, Xoin is also introducing prepaid Bitcoin vouchers that allow customers to buy Bitcoins with cash. The two companies plan to bring in the services that are designed to appeal to unbanked and underbanked markets available in African continent. They will put emphasis on e-commerce and remittances in Africa which has huge market.
In his statement Azteco founder Akin Fernandez admitted that buying Bitcoin is unnecessarily hard and what his company is trying to do is solve this problem with a simple, fast and elegant solution, that’s easy for users and easy for vendors as well. The company says that it is willing to transform the way Bitcoin are being transacted with its Bitcoin vouchers.
Unlike traditional buying of Bitcoin, Azteco’s vouchers are bought over the counter for cash and can be redeemed with any Bitcoin address. Also, as they are simple for vendors to dispense, requiring just a computer, web access and a printer, removing the need for any specialized equipment, the company expects these would become popular a lot.
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Akin Fernandez believes that Bitcoin is set to change the way people send money globally and according to him this will be especially powerful and transforming for the third-world Diaspora. He says that Bitcoin vouchers from his company will eliminate the financial network access problems that plague the unbanked, helping them to break out of the poverty cycle.
Similar services are being offered by Xoin which is making Bitcoin available through prepaid vouchers and gift cards; however, its first targets are young South Africans. Xoin co-founder Helghardt Avenant says that the unbanked markets, especially teenagers with mobile phones in Africa, are entirely excluded from e-commerce and this is going to help a lot.