A Proposed African MTNCoin Digital Currency Paper Making Rounds on the Internet

An MTNCoin introductory whitepaper is apparently making rounds on the Internet in what seems like the first African telco coin launch.

MTN, one of Africa’s largest telcommunication companies, has not commented on the paper which is dated October 29th, 2019 and seems to indicate Johannesburg is its origin, the headquarters of MTN.

The introductory paper looks at the problem of disruption, the mobile money & remittance space opportunity, the MTNCoin digital currency, regulatory overview, and the coin architecture.


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According to the paper, the MTNCoin digital currency is positioned to become the single settlement currency across Africa, in all banks and mobile wallets. The coin is expected to instantaneously become the biggest ‘reserve’ overnight in Africa and disrupt existing systems if it goes live.

The paper looks at current incumbents and shows why they are set to be disrupted below:

  • M-PESA – Countries: 8; Users: 32m; Has to partner as it is centrally constrained
  • FNB – Countries: 5; Users: 7.8m; Takes 2-5 days to process payments
  • Ecobank – Countries: 35; Users: 13.7m; Takes 2-5 days to process payments
  • Standard Bank – Countries: 20; Users: 16.8m; Takes 2-5 days to process payments
  • ABSA – Countries: 12; Users: 12m; Takes 2-5 days to process payments
  • NedBank – Countries: 7; Users: 8m; Takes 2-5 days to process payments

The paper goes on to show how the MTNCoin will be a superior payment solution that solves the current problem with MTN Money and M-Pesa where these services are country and partner dependent for P2P transfers, cross-border payments, and remittance offerings.

The paper proposes using the Stellar blockchain as the platform of choice due to its already existing connection with payment systems, speed, cost integration, and almost free transaction costs. The platform would essentially enable and open up use cases like micro-payments which aren’t feasible with other systems at the moment.

The paper solves the regulatory hurdle by saying:

“Because the MTN currency will be a digital token of its own, it is free to move globally across the entire MTN global footprint and be used by all of its subscribers, allowing it to be exchange on the edges, within each respective country.”

The paper also proposes an MTN Universal MFS ecosystem that includes a rewards system, telco-grade AI architecture, and a credit risk management platform for real-time offer calculation.

While MTN is yet to comment on the paper, it provides a comprehensive overview of what such an African digital currency would look like and the value-add it would bring to the African continent.

Check out the full MTNCoin paper here.


BitcoinKE has reached out to MTN for a comment on the above whitepaper. We shall update immediately we receive a reply.



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