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Bitcoin without internet: SMS service allows sending BTC with a text

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Bitcoin without internet: SMS service allows sending BTC with a text

An innovation using the cellular network (GSM) could onboard millions of Bitcoin (BTC) users previously unreachable by the internet-dependent Bitcoin protocol. Built by South African developer Kgothatso Ngako, the new SMS-based service is named Machankura, a slang South African word for money.

KG, as he’s known to his friends, spoke to Cointelegraph from Pretoria, South Africa, about his fascination with Bitcoin and the hope that Bitcoin via text will bring BTC to millions of Africans.

Machankura, the #Bitcoin for feature phones service in Africa, is slowly growing. https://t.co/TZngXXVhu0

— Derek Ross ⚡5️⃣ (@derekmross) August 8, 2022

An English speaker, when KG first learned about Bitcoin, he streamed audiobooks and podcasts religiously on the way to work. As he fell down the Bitcoin rabbit hole, his 20-minute commute became a two-hour wander to the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in South Africa, where he worked as a software developer.

In a separate interview, Master Guantai, founder of Bitcoin Mtaani, told Cointelegraph, “The number of cellphones in Africa is double the number of people.” However, internet-enabled smartphone penetration remains low.

In Kenya, Guantai’s home country, he explains that topping up a phone with airtime is as common as credit card payments in the West. A report by Caribou backs up the statement: 94% of financial transactions in Africa are through USSD, the protocol used to send text messages, whereas just 6% of these transactions are made via mobile apps. ​​

In sum, while there are millions of phones in Africa, they’re mostly used for texting. KG had stumbled onto something that could be huge for Bitcoin adoption in Africa.

“This year, a lot of conversations in the space were around USSD or making Bitcoin accessible on feature phones—this could be a part-time project–let me just set it up. And that’s basically how Machankura came to be!”

KG started by building an African language translation project Exonumia. Now providing Bitcoin-related education in dozens of languages, he explained to Cointelegraph that if we make Bitcoin more accessible to Africans, then, as a consequence, they will learn about money and find a way to improve their quality of life.

Once Exonumia picked up steam, he asked, “what are the other barriers to accepting Bitcoin? Language is one–the other is internet access.” He sums up the internet in Africa as a space dominated by big applications such as Instagram and Facebook. The problems inherent to smartphone users are having enough space on phones, internet connectivity and price.

KG shares screenshots of Machankura in action.

KG coded up Manchakura to solve those problems, explaining, “The major focus is on spending and receiving Bitcoin.” KG explains how it works: Users dial a number and are then introduced to a menu where they can learn more about Bitcoin or register an account. “All you need to register an account is a 5-digit pin, and from there on, you are presented with a different menu: Send and receive Bitcoin.”

Here is Paco, the Bitcoin traveler who won’t stop teaching people about Bitcoin around the world, demonstrating Machankura to a teacher in Nigeria, at Cointelegraph’s request.

Used @Machankura8333 to share some Sats with High school teacher in Lagos, Nigeria.@LumiExc went to this school.#btc #hyperbitcoinization pic.twitter.com/ba5SPAGPLE

— Paco de la ⚡ (@RunwithBitcoin) August 8, 2022

As a result, Lightning wallet-compatible apps on phones or computers can send Bitcoin over the Lightning Network to the phone’s number—it has effectively become a Lightning address. Machankura has integrated with Bitrefill, an increasingly popular prepaid gift card service for Bitcoin in Africa. Plus, as of Wednesday, South Africans will be able to top up their Lighting Wallets with credit from grocery stores in a partnership with “One for you,” a voucher provider. 

Machankura users can now redeem @Azteco_ (and 1 For You) Bitcoin vouchers using the USSD interface. pic.twitter.com/qkPRwGzkrL

— Machankura 8333 (@Machankura8333) August 10, 2022

As Ngako summarizes, “A person literally without no internet access can go from having no Bitcoin to having Bitcoin and then go to spending Bitcoin.”

Related: Bitcoin is for billions: Fedimint on scaling BTC in the global south

Master Guantai also shares that it works well in six African countries already. Plus, popular exchange Paxful has already shown interest, Guantai explains, as the ease with which people can be onboarded using GSM is understated.

KG flags potential concerns with the innovation as the government banning or reacting negatively to Bitcoin. The commission fees for buying the voucher could put people off, and the fact that KG understands that in offering a centralized company to onboard people into Bitcoin, there’s a risk that they don’t spend the time getting to know the technology.

Plus, the service is custodial, a point that works against the Bitcoin ethos of “not your keys, not your coins.” So, he is looking for a way to use SIM cards as private keys.

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4 On-Chain Metrics Show the Bitcoin Price Is Primed for Bullish Explosion

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4 On-Chain Metrics Show the Bitcoin Price Is Primed for Bullish Explosion

Amid recent macroeconomic extremes, Bitcoin has maintained a quiet stance, almost eerie for its HODLers. Nonetheless, its hashrate and accumulation are soaring — what could this mean for its price?

Bitcoin has been consolidating in a narrow range between $18,800 and $20,200 since the mid-Sept price fall. In volatile markets like cryptocurrency, similar quiet periods of consolidation are rare. 

Recent Glassnode findings show that the current BTC price action resembles both pre-crash November 2018 and pre-rally March 2019. Despite price downturns, mining and accumulation statistics are improving. Let’s look into what this means for the health of the network.

Bitcoin hashrate makes new ATH 

Last week, the Bitcoin hashrate made a new all-time high of 242 exahashes per second.

Source: Glassnode

In the chart below, we can see that Bitcoin’s longer-term, slower hash ribbon was once again overtaken by the faster ribbon, indicating improved mining conditions in late August. Since the price saw no major uptick during this time, the rise in hashrate was likely due to more efficient mining hardware and more mining rigs working in general.

Source: Glassnode

Historically, these hash ribbon moving average swaps precede price gains. Historically, when the hash-rate drops and subsequently recovers, major BTC price bottoms have been made. 

Is a price bottom in?

Apart from the hashrate, Bitcoin accumulation levels also reached a 7-year high. CryptoQuant data shows that 6-month-old and older Bitcoins now make up 74% of the realized cap. During the 2019 and 2015 bottoms, this score sat at 70% and 77%, respectively.

Source: CryptoQuant 

Lastly, for the first time in this cycle, the percentage of supply in loss has reached the 50% level.

CryptoQuant data shows that the price bottoms during previous cycles normally occur when the percentage of supply in loss reaches 50% or more.

Source: CryptoQuant

The current data shows the highest percentage of losses at 52% on the daily chart, 50.4% on the weekly (7DMA), and 48% on the monthly (30DMA). 

While quite a few metrics suggest that BTC should be near a bottom, the overall momentum will likely still depend on macroeconomic conditions as well as its correlation with the Nasdaq and S&P 500. 

Disclaimer

All the information contained on our website is published in good faith and for general information purposes only. Any action the reader takes upon the information found on our website is strictly at their own risk.

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Bitcoin price sees first October spike above $20K as daily gains hit 5%

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Bitcoin price sees first October spike above $20K as daily gains hit 5%

BTC price action sees a new October peak amid a declining U.S. dollar and a successful prior day’s trading for U.S. equities.

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Bitcoin price sees first October spike above K as daily gains hit 5%

Bitcoin (BTC) saw its first trip above $20,000 on Oct. 4 as traders expected familiar resistance to cap gains.

BTC/USD 1-hour candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: TradingView

Multi-week dollar lows fuel Bitcoin bulls

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView showed BTC/United States dollar climbing prior to the Wall Street open, up over 5% in 24 hours.

The pair had shaken off macroeconomic concerns at the start of the week, with trouble at Credit Suisse and the escalating Russia-Ukraine conflict failing to slow performance.

Now, the short-term analysis focused on a run potentially topping out closer to $21,000 — as was the case late last month, as sell-side pressure at that level remained significant.

“20500-21000 is a sell zone. If price gets there, which should, don’t be too bullish,” popular trader Il Capo of Crypto told Twitter followers on the day.

Razzoorn, an analyst at international trade group The Birb Nest, noted that the current charge was Bitcoin’s fifth attempt at escaping a major liquidity cloud in several weeks.

Despite the potentially limited upside opportunity, Bitcoin rallied in line with a broader risk asset tide which saw United States equities finish noticeably higher the day prior.

At the same time, the U.S. dollar suffered, the U.S. dollar index (DXY) extending losses to approach 111 points and threaten support in place since mid-September.

U.S. dollar index (DXY) 1-day candle chart. Source: TradingView

“Up the market goes,” a more optimistic Michaël van de Poppe, CEO and founder of trading platform Eight, continued:

“Flipping $19,500 for support. Now, if range-high at $19,600 holds for Bitcoin, I assume we’ll continue towards $22,400.”

Altcoins attempt to change sticky trend

Across major altcoins, it was Ether (ETH) and Ripple (XRP) leading daily performance at the time of writing. 

Related: CoinShares’ Butterfill suggests ’continued hesitancy’ among investors

ETH/USD traded above $1,350, still yet to break out of its sideways trend in place for several weeks since major losses entered during the post-Merge breakdown.

ETH/USD 1-day candle chart (Binance). Source: TradingView

XRP, on the other hand, faced a more stubborn band of resistance after prior gains, bouncing off multi-week support just below $0.45.

XRP/USD 1-day candle chart (Binance). Source: TradingView

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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McDonald’s starts to accept Bitcoin and Tether in Swiss town

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McDonald’s starts to accept Bitcoin and Tether in Swiss town

The global fast food chain is among the first to participate in a crypto-friendly experiment in the town of Lugano.

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McDonald’s starts to accept Bitcoin and Tether in Swiss town

Multinational fast food chain McDonald’s started to accept Bitcoin (BTC) as a payment method in the 63,000-populated city of Lugano in Italian Switzerland, which is becoming a hotspot for crypto adoption in Western Europe. 

A one-minute video of ordering food on McDonald’s digital kiosk and then paying for it at the regular register with the help of a mobile app was uploaded on Twitter by Bitcoin Magazine on Oct. 3. The Tether (USDT)  logo could be spotted next to the Bitcoin symbol on the credit cash machine, which is not surprising, as in March 2022 the city of Lugano announced it would accept Bitcoin, Tether and the LVGA token as a legal tender.

On March 3, 2022, the city signed a memorandum of understanding with Tether Operations Limited, launching the so-called “Plan B.” According to this plan, Tether has created two funds — the first one is a $106 million, or 100 million Swiss francs, investment pool for crypto startups, and the second is around $3 million, or 3 million Swiss francs, attempt to encourage the adoption of crypto for shops and businesses across the city.

In addition to allowing Lugano residents to pay their taxes using crypto, the project will extend payments to parking tickets, public services and tuition fees for students. More than 200 shops and businesses in the area are also expected to accept crypto payments for goods and services.

Related: Swiss Post’s banking arm developing in-house crypto custody platform

Speaking to Cointelegraph in June, Paolo Ardoino, chief technology officer of Tether and Bitfinex, claimed that Plan B “is going great,” announcing a two-week educational activity on blockchain and cryptocurrencies in the city.

In September 2021 El Salvador became the first country in the world to allow using Bitcoin as a legal tender. Since that time, McDonald’s has been accepting Bitcoin at all its 19 outlets in the country.

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