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Author: Tom Elliott
Publication Date: Aug 05 2013
Pages: 4
Report Type: Insight, Word
Wireless Media

Bitcoin Enters Mobile Payments A Sideshow Not the Main Event



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Report Summary:

Earlier this month a digital startup called Kipochi announced the launch of a service supporting value transfer between Bitcoin and Kenya’s M-PESA mobile payments system. The system would take advantage of Bitcoin for sending money inexpensively from abroad into Kenya, and then interface with M-PESA for domestic use. Other Bitcoin mobile payment services have been started, including Coinbase, Bits and Bitpay. The argued advantage of Bitcoin payment services includes lower transaction costs, particularly for international transfers, improved security, and privacy. While it is true that transaction costs are an issue with potential mobile payments users, the growth of mobile payments will depend less on the underlying currency and more on the development and promotion of compelling consumer use cases. Bitcoin’s presence in mobile payments will put some downward pressure on the cost of international remittances, but overall we expect it to have limited impact.

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