Bitcoin (BTC) without Internet: Is it possible?

Do you think the widespread adoption of bitcoin will depend solely on the legalization of this asset by our governors? Let’s not forget the other obstacles such as the problem of access to the internet or electricity that prevent the use of cryptocurrencies, especially in developing countries. What motivated some bitcoin to find other ways to overcome these limits. This is precisely the case of the developers of Machankura.

Machankura, bitcoin by SMS?

During a trip to the Central African Republic last June, the delegation of bitcoin pointed out that the country’s legalization of BTC would benefit many in Africa. Provided, of course, that the problem of internet access is solved and that a vast operation to electrify the region is resorted to.

But it will take time and a lot of money to get there.

Pending adequate solutions, some project initiators have developed devices favorable to bitcoin transactions without internet. This is the case of Kgothatso Ngako, the South African developer behind Machankura.

Thanks to Machankura, millions of Africans with mobile phones will have access to the queen of cryptocurrencies through the cellular network (GSM). This is called “bitcoin by SMS”.

No smartphone or internet needed. A simple mobile phone, the medium with which Africans receive and send mobile money, will suffice.

Asked by CointelegraphKgothatso Ngako explains:

A person literally without internet access can now own bitcoin and then spend it. »

A lot of the conversation in the space this year was about USSD or making bitcoin accessible through basic phones – this could be a part-time project – just let me set it up. And that’s basically how Machankura came into being. “, he added.

And this project is timely given that 94% of African financial transactions are based on USSD. The latter being the protocol used to send text messages.

How it works ?

The idea of ​​creating Machankura came to KG after launching Exonumia, an African language translation project. Indeed, he is aware that the adoption of bitcoin must go through the consideration of linguistic issues and access to the internet. A point of view shared by the founder of PaxFul.

By coding Machankura, he made sure to set up a healthy device, easy to access and manipulate.

All you need to register an account is a 5-digit pin code, and from there you are presented with another menu: ‘Send and receive bitcoins’ “, underlined Ngako.

Thus, users will only have to enter the USSD codes for the configuration of addresses on the Lightning Network. And this address will be directly linked to their phone number. This convenience would be the result of a collaboration with Bitrefill, an African prepaid gift card service for Bitcoin, and “ One for You ‘, a voucher provider.

Note that for the moment, Machankura is only accessible in 6 African countries: Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda.

You will find in the image below the USSD codes to access these amenities through Machankura.


No internet, no bitcoin? No way. Bitcoin and its fans will not stop at such a small obstacle as the Internet. Machankura is proof of that. The ham radio network and the standard Blockstream satellite TV solution are also among the alternatives. But Machankura easily coincides with the daily practices of Africans, it is best to accelerate the democratization of bitcoin in the cradle of humanity.

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