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Africans Know How to Use Bitcoin and Crypto Without Internet — See How

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By Jessy Sloan - - 5 Mins Read
Africans using smartphones
Credit: Ato Aikins via Unsplash

Crypto in Africa is taking a new shape as many people living within the continent are learning to transact with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies without any internet. The Internet has been a huge challenge for many African countries, hindering crypto adoption. But a new tool has been created, which has changed the whole outlook of crypto in Africa. A huge percentage of the African population now transacts with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies without internet access. This is made possible with a new invention called Machankura. Machankura is a solution that allows those in Africa with little internet access to make peer-to-peer transactions with Bitcoin. 

This was made possible in 2022 when a South African software developer Kgothatso Ngako built this tool to help those who have limited internet connection to have access to making Bitcoin transactions. This developer made it possible to access the Lightning Network through an Unstructured Supplementary Service Data interface. With his team, Ngako allowed Africans using this service to utilize their  Subscriber Identity Module(SIM) to make USSD transactions with Bitcoin. According to the developers of this tool, using SIM to make transactions is similar to Interactive Voice Response (IVR). 

Using an IVR for interaction with your network provider tells you the numbers you need to press to access certain services. IVR is similar to USSD. But instead of using voice to tell you the numbers to press, the USSD comes in a textual form. Different African countries are already using the new tool called Machankura. Heavyweight countries of the continent, such as Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, and Namibia, are already using the services provided by Machankura. The new services will replace crypto exchanges in Africa whose services aren't reaching a particular group of people due to network issues. Machankura already boasts of close to three thousand users across Africa. 

Africa Still Has a Long Way To Go 

According to the developer of this project, Africa still has a long way to go because of its internet connectivity problems. The creator of Machankura said there are areas in Africa that lack internet connection and can't make crypto transactions. With the lack of reach from crypto exchanges in Africa, they can't make any transactions. 

While there is still a long way to go, the developer of Machankura believes his creation will help to solve the internet connectivity issues in Africa. This might be a blessing in disguise for Africans, as it will allow them to explore areas that haven't been inspected on other continents. Being able to send and receive cryptocurrencies without an internet connection is a rare occurrence most continents have yet to explore. To make it even more unique, these transactions are made using USSD. 

To use the Machankura services is pretty simple, even for those who haven't used it in the past. So long as users can read and write, they can easily transact with it. The code for using the services might differ depending on the country. For example, you can easily dial *483*8333# in Kenya to access the Machankura service and make transactions. You need to follow the prompts on the screen to make or receive transactions.