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Kenyan Service Combines Bitcoin, Mobile Payments

A recently launched service in Kenya combines virtual currency with mobile payments. Kipochi, “wallet” in Swahili, allows users to purchase Bitcoin with M-Pesa, a popular mobile payments system for small transactions used by about a third of the nation’s 44 million residents. The web service was created by Pelle Braendgaard, entrepreneur and programmer. He says adding Bitcoin would enable people to receive funds from outside Kenya without expensive bank or wire transfer fees. Kenyan expats reportedly send an average of about US$99 million per month back home. Coupling it with M-Pesa eliminates some of the complexity associated with using Bitcoin. There is a small fee associated with using the service, but Kipochi is a free service.  Braendgaard says he is working on porting the application to the phone as well as a merchant-based platform for Bitcoin. (Computerworld)(Kipochi)

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