Mobile airtime is among the biggest tax contributors in Kenya, according to the latest 2019 stats.
Latest statistics show that mobile airtime in Kenya, one of the most advanced mobile economies in Africa, accounted for KES 26.3 billion ($260 million) in Kenya revenue taxes. This denotes a 63% growth collected the previous year.
So far, in the first 9 months of 2019, the revenues have already hit KES 19.7 billion ($194 million).
Mobile airtime is seen as boom sub-sector in Sub-Saharan Africa due to the increasing turnover of transactions and the formal nature of such transactions. When you add the massive gains in financial inclusion in developing countries brought on by mobile services, the opportunity for growth is even greater.
The above developments however have not gone unnoticed in the crypto space and a few players in the space are looking at offering an airtime crypto derivative that taps into this huge and booming sub-sector.
One of these companies is Zippie. a peer-to-peer transaction platform that allows users to earn airtime minutes through a new generation reward system. The platform allows users to be rewarded through mobile internet airtime that can be redeemed for use. The service is already operation in Kenya and quickly gaining ground among crypto enthusiasts.
BitMinutes is yet another service that is looking to penetrate the Sub-saharan African market in partnership with the Akoin Foundation. The service allows users in their locality to convert cash into bitminutes which can then be sent to other phones as airtime top-ups or converted to fiat currency via an agency network similar to Safaricom MPESA. Essentially, the users get paid in airtime minutes.
The above services are already operational in a number of African countries and expanding into other countries by the day. There is no doubt that they are only going to grow in popularity and acceptance.