Nermin Hajdarbegovic | Published on September 7, 2014 at 10:45 BST
British bitcoin voucher service Azteco and South African startup Xoin have separately launched services designed for one potentially huge emerging market; namely, the unbanked populations of Africa.
Azteco, which claims it is “the easiest way to buy bitcoins”, has announced that it is in the final stage of development of its voucher product and is already accepting applications from prospective vendors.
Xoin is also introducing prepaid bitcoin vouchers that allow customers to buy bitcoins with cash.
Both services are designed to appeal to unbanked and underbanked markets, with an emphasis on e-commerce and remittances in Africa.
“Buying bitcoin is unnecessarily hard,” saif Azteco founder Akin Fernandez. “We solve this problem with a simple, fast and elegant solution, that’s easy for users and easy for vendors.”
Azteco’s vouchers are bought over the counter for cash and can be redeemed with any bitcoin address. Additionally, they are simple for vendors to dispense, requiring just a computer, web access and a printer, removing the need for any specialised equipment.
“Bitcoin is set to change the way people send money globally,” Fernandez continued, “and this will be especially powerful and transforming for the third-world diaspora, eliminating the financial network access problems that plague the unbanked, helping them to break out of the poverty cycle.”