Why can’t we send money from one African mobile number to any other African mobile number instantly?
That was my whole point at @Georgetown because it would be a game changer pic.twitter.com/cgwTJdsmNy
— Larry Madowo (@LarryMadowo) February 2, 2020
The conversation saw comments from different African countries offering opinions on solutions available to the problem.
I think it's because African countries use different currencies of different values. It may be difficult to harmonize.
— Sonteddy Toroitich Isaac (@Teddy_izoe) February 2, 2020
While Kenya, and by extension Africa, is considered home of mobile money, there is little in terms of mobile money interoperability across the huge African continent. Mobile money services on the continent, from MPESA to MTN Money, are all independent money transfer services that cannot be used to send money amongst themselves.
As a result, Africa has one of the most fragmented mobile money services anywhere in the world. The responses and solutions offered were diverse and fragmented begging the question on whether a unified mobile money transfer service is available.
Bitcoin fixes this. It makes regulations, licenses, cross-border taxes and forex charges almost irrelevant.
— kimotho kamau (@kimothokk) February 3, 2020
A truly intra-Africa mobile money service is achievable, thanks to the growing adoption of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin that enable cross-border, near-instant transactions at a fraction of the current services.
By embracing digital currencies, Africa can, once again, pioneer the evolution of mobile money that was ushered back in 2007 with the launch of MPESA. This time however, the movement will not only be African-wide, but global, as cryptocurrencies are proving.
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