BitMinutes Inc., a financial services technology company (FinTech) that leverages blockchain and tokenization for delivering its financial services to consumers, launched in Nigeria a few weeks ago and has caught the attention of the locals.
Expanding into Africa through a strategic partnership with Nigeria-based BODC Trading & Investment Co., the program includes the creation of a Trusted Agent Network (TAN) in which the BitMinutes Nigeria team will lead an effort to identify and oversee TAN Agents, who are often store merchants.
TAN agents sell BitMinutes (BMTs), which can be converted to mobile phone minutes on a wide range of carriers and used as a store of value for making payments.
The BitMinutes Nigeria program has already trained over 100 agents, who are fielding dozens of new signups each day, and growing.
“We’re ecstatic that Nigeria’s citizens have embraced the BitMinutes Nigeria program,” said Tom Meredith, founder and CEO of BitMinutes. “They recognize that the economic incentives, including 5 percent cash back on purchases of BitMinutes and 12 percent annualized return on those BitMinutes that remain in their account, are very compelling propositions.”
BitMinutes allows users to send BMTs to friends and family, which can be converted to mobile phone minutes on their respective carriers, convert BMTs into local currency (Naira) for deposit into bank account and take purchases for goods and services at TAN retailers.
In all these instances, the transactions are free, thanks to the efficiencies of the underlying blockchain technology.
Ravi Narain, the Director of the BitMinutes Nigeria program, believes it is only a matter of time before BitMinutes becomes ubiquitous in Nigeria.
“We’ve been very pleased with the interest of Nigerians, both in becoming trusted agents and BitMinutes account holders,” said Narain. “We are well on our way to making a real difference in our economy and the lives of our people.”
The economic constraints of so many communities in Africa has been on Meredith’s mind for years and was a driver in the creation of the BitMinutes technology.
But the technology has only been one piece of the equation. BitMinutes needed a business model to deliver on that promise, which is where the TAN comes in.