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Offline MrJeans

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A Bitshares-x wallet for Zimbabwe
« on: August 26, 2014, 09:30:05 PM »

I believe we need a very simple wallet (or wallet UI) which caters to users who are only looking to accept and transfer bitUSD.
Something that simply has the balances and contacts list.
Such a wallet would be useful for persons in countries with volatile/deflationary currencies who are using simple mobile based value transfer services.
We need to provide a product that competes with M-pesa (this is a massive market).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M-Pesa

Offline jae208

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Re: A Bitshares-x wallet for Zimbabwe
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2014, 10:02:04 PM »
Considering that in the next few years the amount internet users is going to more than double I think this is a great idea. A billion people from the African continent will come online soon. Positioning ourselves to take advantage of this is a must.
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Offline puppies

Re: A Bitshares-x wallet for Zimbabwe
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2014, 10:19:40 PM »
Considering that in the next few years the amount internet users is going to more than double I think this is a great idea. A billion people from the African continent will come online soon. Positioning ourselves to take advantage of this is a must.
Not to mention helping them free themselves from the shackles of their oppressive governments. 
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Offline Empirical1

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Re: A Bitshares-x wallet for Zimbabwe
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2014, 11:00:53 PM »
 +5% I've got no clue about the technicalities involved, but yes a super simple to use BitAsset specific wallet  has the seeds of a brilliant idea imo.

Offline santaclause102

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Re: A Bitshares-x wallet for Zimbabwe
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2014, 11:48:36 PM »
If I converted the kenyian shilling right to USD (http://themoneyconverter.com/USD/KES.aspx) and this is true http://www.safaricom.co.ke/personal/m-pesa/my-m-pesa-account/tariffs the minimum tx fee with M-PESA is ~ 9 USD cents. It increases heavily though with the tx amount and the amount of people who receive a transaction. Sending 50 USD would cost ~ 80 US cents. 80 US cents is ~~ worth the half a day of work of an average worker. 9 US cents is ~~ work of half an hour.
BTSX can do the job for far less.
Do you come to the same results?

M-Pesa is very big. A third of kenya's GDP is transfered over MPesa http://qz.com/57504/31-of-kenyas-gdp-is-spent-through-mobile-phones/

I don't see how but do you see any chance to bring BTSX onto non smartphone phones??   
« Last Edit: August 26, 2014, 11:58:39 PM by delulo »

Offline Empirical1

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Re: A Bitshares-x wallet for Zimbabwe
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2014, 12:46:23 AM »
This would also go down very well in Argentina, in fact you could probably contact someone like Bitpagos who may want to be a BitUSD broker right away.


They really struggle to get USD and their currency is currently experiencing a major devaluation.

Quote
    With the official peso rate at record lows once again, the black-market Dolar-Blue tumbled to over 14/USD - a record low indicating dramatic devaluation ahead 

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-08-26/argentina-peso-plummets-record-bofa-warns-looming-economic-crisis

It's the 25th largest economy in the world, Bitcoin does very well there.

BitPagos could offer BitUSD quite easily on their current system maybe and users would prefer it to a volatile Bitcoin...

http://www.coindesk.com/bitpagos-brings-bitcoin-8000-convenience-stores-ripio/

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BitPagos has launched Ripio, a new bitcoin brokerage service that allows consumers in Argentina to buy small amounts of bitcoin at more than 8,000 convenience stores.
 

Quote
“You can go to any location, give them your account in Ripio and the amount of pesos you want to get in bitcoins. Boom: you have some bitcoins. It’s going be extremely easy to use and to buy bitcoins easily, securely and near you, even if you don’t have a bank account. We think that this is going to push adoption.”
 

Offline MrJeans

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Re: A Bitshares-x wallet for Zimbabwe
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2014, 11:57:02 AM »
Yes, there is a huge need for financial services in developing countries (especially ones with political instability). I myself am from South Africa, which has a lot more infrastructure and a very stable economy compared to its neighbours and even here I often witness the huge need for fin services.

I would think that the development of a more simple wallet may be created by a third party but this needs to be done.

Offline ElMato

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Re: A Bitshares-x wallet for Zimbabwe
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2014, 01:17:31 PM »
If I converted the kenyian shilling right to USD (http://themoneyconverter.com/USD/KES.aspx) and this is true http://www.safaricom.co.ke/personal/m-pesa/my-m-pesa-account/tariffs the minimum tx fee with M-PESA is ~ 9 USD cents. It increases heavily though with the tx amount and the amount of people who receive a transaction. Sending 50 USD would cost ~ 80 US cents. 80 US cents is ~~ worth the half a day of work of an average worker. 9 US cents is ~~ work of half an hour.
BTSX can do the job for far less.
Do you come to the same results?

M-Pesa is very big. A third of kenya's GDP is transfered over MPesa http://qz.com/57504/31-of-kenyas-gdp-is-spent-through-mobile-phones/

I don't see how but do you see any chance to bring BTSX onto non smartphone phones??

I have been thinking in this problem also.
bitUSD in Africa will be a serious competitor to M-Pesa and possible a worldwide game changer.

But at least for africa you have to take into account (for the next 4 years).

 - No Smartphone
 - No Internet
 - SMS to expensive for transfers

So basically you have these options.

Option1)

 * Lightweight client (j2me?) capable of sign transactions.
 * Private keys inside phone.
 * USSD server ( USSD <-> BTS Network )

This option is full decentralized, the user just use a proxy to the BTS network (internet).
(I guess we should avoid TITAN in this implementation and maintain a mapping of phone-number <-> PublicKey in the USSD Server)

Option2 - Centralized )
 * Lightweight client (j2me?).
 * Private keys in server.
 * USSD server ( USSD <-> BTS Network )

I would like to ear BM plans to support lightweight clients.
Are there any?


Offline MrJeans

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Re: A Bitshares-x wallet for Zimbabwe
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2014, 05:49:56 PM »
If I converted the kenyian shilling right to USD (http://themoneyconverter.com/USD/KES.aspx) and this is true http://www.safaricom.co.ke/personal/m-pesa/my-m-pesa-account/tariffs the minimum tx fee with M-PESA is ~ 9 USD cents. It increases heavily though with the tx amount and the amount of people who receive a transaction. Sending 50 USD would cost ~ 80 US cents. 80 US cents is ~~ worth the half a day of work of an average worker. 9 US cents is ~~ work of half an hour.
BTSX can do the job for far less.
Do you come to the same results?

M-Pesa is very big. A third of kenya's GDP is transfered over MPesa http://qz.com/57504/31-of-kenyas-gdp-is-spent-through-mobile-phones/

I don't see how but do you see any chance to bring BTSX onto non smartphone phones??

I have been thinking in this problem also.
bitUSD in Africa will be a serious competitor to M-Pesa and possible a worldwide game changer.

But at least for africa you have to take into account (for the next 4 years).

 - No Smartphone
 - No Internet
 - SMS to expensive for transfers

So basically you have these options.

Option1)

 * Lightweight client (j2me?) capable of sign transactions.
 * Private keys inside phone.
 * USSD server ( USSD <-> BTS Network )

This option is full decentralized, the user just use a proxy to the BTS network (internet).
(I guess we should avoid TITAN in this implementation and maintain a mapping of phone-number <-> PublicKey in the USSD Server)

Option2 - Centralized )
 * Lightweight client (j2me?).
 * Private keys in server.
 * USSD server ( USSD <-> BTS Network )

I would like to ear BM plans to support lightweight clients.
Are there any?
It is probably good to be thinking about this.
But important to note that smart phone usage among the poor in Africa is huge.

Beggers keep coming up to me at the traffic light asking for money while doing something on their app on their smartphones. Gives me a good laugh.

There is also reasonable network coverage.

Offline ElMato

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Re: A Bitshares-x wallet for Zimbabwe
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2014, 06:04:49 PM »
@MrJeans i'm not living in africa so my thoughts are based on what i read over the Internet.
It seems that you are there, could you please say something more about what you know/see that's happening there?

Is Zimbabwe like the rest of sub-sahara Africa?
Is every grocery store accepting MPesa? How much do they charge for "funding" my account?

Too many questions!

Offline MrJeans

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Re: A Bitshares-x wallet for Zimbabwe
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2014, 06:39:51 PM »
@MrJeans i'm not living in africa so my thoughts are based on what i read over the Internet.
It seems that you are there, could you please say something more about what you know/see that's happening there?

Is Zimbabwe like the rest of sub-sahara Africa?
Is every grocery store accepting MPesa? How much do they charge for "funding" my account?

Too many questions!
M-pesa is not very big in South Africa. Although they are advertising and there is a market for it here. The cities in South Africa are first world and have all the services etc you could wish for. The small towns usually have strip malls which will have banks, remittance and other financial services.

However the smaller villages have absolutely no services, there are no formal shops for say 20km, no banks, post offices etc. And to use a bus to travel into town can be expensive for a low earner. However there will be cell phone network coverage and you will be able to purchase cell phone credit for making calls etc (airtime credit can easily be purchased from a local store owner pretty much anywhere). This is most likely the space M-pesa is targeting. And this is where bitUSD or bitZAR would be needed.

I am currently in Limpopo and recently took a drive to the border of South Africa and Zimbabwe. Wow, it is a whole other world at that border. There are a huge number of people coming over the border with US dollars to purchase goods in South African stores (the political instability in Zimbabwe pushes up the prices of goods in the country). Persons from Zimbabwe will then pay a premium for South African rands using the US dollars so that they can purchase goods in the stores although many stores at the border accept dollars and charge a premium for the goods.

The whole of Zimbabwe runs on US dollars and so does Zambia. Everything in these countries is done in cash and it would be great to have a virtual financial service.

So in the very rural parts of South Africa and in the whole of Zimbabwe and Zambia bitUSD and bitZAR would do very well. (I would imagine that the demand for bitUSD in Argentina would be even higher but thats another story).

The only issue would be getting bitUSD/bitZAR into the market in the first place. Thats where m-pesa has a huge advantage as they are linked to a cellular network (vodacom) and people can convert cellular credit (easily obtainable) and convert it to m-pesa money.

There needs to be a service where people can convert cellular credit into bitUSD/bitZAR.

In the pursuit of knowledge I am now attempting the use M-pesa. I need to do so through vodacom (this involves purchasing the simcard from a store and registering it). Registering the simcard involves me giving an identity card number and proof of residence.

Then using my phone I had to register for M-pesa. They asked for my identity number and my name. Apparently I am now waiting for the registration process to be complete. They are probably checking that my simcard is registered with the same identity number etc as I just provided them.

I'll update here as I go through the process. Registering for Bitshares-X was way easier ;)

Offline ElMato

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Re: A Bitshares-x wallet for Zimbabwe
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2014, 07:09:44 PM »
@MrJeans  thanks for the description! +5%

Offline MrJeans

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Re: A Bitshares-x wallet for Zimbabwe
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2014, 10:17:45 AM »
I checked today and it looks like I am registered for M-pesa (did not get any message regarding this).

I can load money onto my account using a voucher bought instore or loading money onto the account from a store.

It costs USD 0.8c to check my balance!!

Money transfer fees (exchange rate about R10 to 1USD)
R1 to registered users
R4 + R1/100(excl 1stR100)
Up to a maximum of R10 to unregistered users

So a minimum of just over 1% for transaction fees.

It is not as easy as I thought to get m-pesa money. I thought I should be able to transfer cellphone credit and convert it to m-pesa cash.

Providing a service where one can convert cell phone credit to bitUSD would be a game changer in terms of getting virtual currencies and financial services to the rural areas in Africa

 

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