BitMinutes is a financial services technology company that leverages blockchain and tokenization to create financial services that can be affordably yet profitably delivered to an extensive range of emerging market consumers. The BitMinutes program launched in Nigeria only a month ago and is already experiencing impressive growth.
- Over 2,000 people have signed up as consumers, or as new Trusted Agents in the Trusted Agent Network (TAN).
- Over 3 million BMTs (the symbol for BitMinutes) have been purchased.
BitMinutes Nigeria built the TAN Agent Network to expand revenue opportunities for local businesspeople.
BitMinutes Nigeria is a strategic partnership with BODC Trading & Investment Co., who have taken on the mission of building the TAN Network in that country. They are focused on the recruitment and management of TAN Agents. These agents are tasked with the mission of expanding the adoption of BMTs as the prepaid phone minute of choice, for three key reasons:
- BMTs can be converted to mobile phone minutes to make calls on multiple phone companies, not just one.
- BMTs can be sent to any mobile phone number globally. So a Nigerian in the U.S. can buy BMTs and send them to a family member in Nigeria.
- BMTs can be converted back into cash and deposited into a Nigerian bank account, unlike any other prepaid minute on the planet.
The BitMinutes Nigeria program has already trained hundreds of agents, who in turn are fielding dozens of new consumer and agent signups each day.
“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.”
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. Others have reached a similar conclusion about the role that blockchain technology could play.
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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.
In fact, Inc. Magazine wrote last spring about how BitMinutes’ model could be a boost for small businesses that participate in the Trusted Agent Network
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Nigeria will serve as a proof point for BitMinutes, before the company advances the business model across the continent and in other developing nations throughout the world.
“This has been a long time coming,” said Meredith, who has an engineering degree from Stanford and an MBA from Harvard. “Blockchain-based financial services can bring a lot of good to the world. We are determined to show that in Nigeria.”