Business 9 February 2018Jasmine Solana
South African media puts the spotlight on wallet provider Centbee
Centbee, a Bitcoin wallet provider that aims to make global payments straightforward and easy, is making its name known in South Africa, with a little help from local media outlets.
Recently, CGTN Africa’s Global Business featured how Centbee is helping South African expats send money to their family back home. According to host Angelo Coppola, remittances are a huge contributor to the GDP of many African countries—and the Centbee wallet could be a neat solution.
The South Africa-based company is founded by co-CEOs Lorien Gamaroff, an expert in blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies, and Angus Brown, who has 20 years of experience in payments and banking. Together, the two are building not just a wallet, but an entire ecosystem that uses Bitcoin Cash.
“Customer remittances are very high, especially within Africa, people have to pay very high customs, very inconvenient, very difficult for them to move money conveniently, so this really does offer a much simpler, quicker and more trustworthy solution for them,” Gamaroff told the English-language news outlet.
With its promise of delivering a game-changing ecosystem replacement, Centbee has attracted high-profile investors from the blockchain field. Blockchain research and development firm nChain Group has already taken an equity stake in the South African company through its investment entity nChain Reaction Ltd. Jimmy Nguyen, CEO of the nChain Group, described Centbee as “one of the most user-friendly Bitcoin wallets and merchant payment solutions” that “smartly embraces Bitcoin Cash.”
Testing the wallet, including moving Bitcoin Cash across borders, has been underway for several months now. The Centbee founder said they’ve already started talking with retailers, and are eyeing technical integration as their next step.
“This year is about actually taking pilots live, planning out with customers, like, what customers don’t like, learn from that and then grow,” Brown said. “It’s still early days, there’s still a lot to learn. We have to learn a lot, the regulators do learn a lot, we still got to work with the customers. But we’re comfortable that we’ve understood the risks and we’ve understood how to make a really good business product that works for customers, that is still regulatory compliant and is doing the right thing for people.”
The technology can be quite daunting, but interest levels are high continentally, so creating a potential market for Centbee has essentially been taken care of, according to the company executives.
“Africa and South Africa specifically has been shown to be very interested if you just look at Google trends, you know South Africa is consistently in the top five countries that are very interested in cryptocurrencies so I think what we have is a very welcoming market,” Gamaroff said.
“I think a lot of people don’t know what Bitcoin is, and because if you don’t know about something is, or if you’re scared of it, you know, what should you do, so we’re also in the business of educating people, educating merchants, educating the regulators, the payment system operators, everybody how this can actually work,” Brown said.
Watch the video here.
Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.
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