Residents of several African countries can now send and receive Bitcoin (BTC) without an Internet connection thanks to Machankura. Any cell phone will do, and it will be possible to set up an address on the Lightning Network with one’s number.
Sending Bitcoin without Internet with Machankura
Thanks to the services developed by Machankura, residents of some African countries can receive Bitcoin (BTC) without an Internet connection. This is an important development, as it addresses a fundamental need in parts of the world where Bitcoin has a concrete use case.
Indeed, crypto-currencies have enabled the advent of fast, low-cost money transfers around the world. For Bitcoin, this is further illustrated in the Lightning Network. But this was only possible for people with an Internet connection, at least until now.
Machankura allows this in the following countries:
- Ghana ;
- South Africa;
Obviously, the service is still young and will tend to cover more countries as it develops.
USSD technology at the service of democratization
The idea of spending or receiving Bitcoin without an Internet connection thanks to Machankura may seem like a fuzzy idea. However, it is based on a technology that has been around for many years: Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD).
Perhaps some people remember the time when mobile credit was not unlimited and typing “#123#” on your cell phone would show you the status of your usage. This instruction is a USSD code. Each USSD code is created in such a way that when we type it, our phone will perform a specific action.
Technically speaking, you don’t even need a smartphone to use these features, any cell phone will do.
Let’s take the example of a person who has left his country to have a better income to help his family back home. If the recipients don’t have an Internet connection, then using Machankura will be just fine, as long as the receiving address has been set up with the USSD code.
A sender can send satoshis to any phone number he wants. Unfortunately, this solution does not yet have any real educational content to make it easy to use, but there is no doubt that it is promising. While access to the Web is not acquired on all the surface of the globe, such initiatives bring a real added value to people, for whom crypto-currencies are much more than an investment vehicle.