Centbee founder talks how BSV is transforming international remittance

Centbee has been on the frontline of the Bitcoin SV (BSV) revolution in the African continent, and during the recently held CoinGeek Seoul Conference, the founder and CEO Lorien Gamaroff broke down how BSV is transforming international remittance. For Centbee, venturing from a simple BSV wallet into the fastest and most affordable remittance company in Africa was necessitated by the prevailing conditions in the continent. The company is based in South Africa, Africa’s economic giant. With the country having more opportunities than its peers, it receives millions of job seekers every year. These people need to send money back home, but the available options are either slow or quite expensive, usually both. Gamaroff explained:

It’s well-known that in Africa, it has the most expensive cross border remittance corridors. But not only that, there are all sorts of barriers, from the high costs, the complexity around actually moving that money – filling in the forms, and we have a lot of undocumented people living around there.

While there are fintech firms that have tried to solve the challenges, they run into the same challenges sooner or later as they depend on the same banks they try to replace.

Only Bitcoin can solve this challenge, and with this realization, Centbee has been on a quest to transform the remittance sector in Africa. But first, the company had to solve the foremost challenge: making the acquiring of Bitcoin SV easy and accessible across South Africa. This it achieved through the use of the voucher system, an onboarding method that has received praise for its effectiveness across the crypto community.

Gamaroff remarked, “If you go to the Centbee wallet and you go to South Africa in the map, you’re going to see that there isn’t a single stretch of the country that we haven’t covered. Even the smallest towns across the country have multiple locations where you can go into the store, hand over cash and receive Bitcoin instantly, not even hours or days later but instantly on your Centbee wallet. So, this is now our gateway, and now we can start creating this ability to move that money, and this is what we’ve done.”

The first corridor that the company decided to disrupt was Nigeria-South Africa. Nigeria is the other African economic giant and with over 200 million people, it was the best market to start with.

While many people focus on selling the potential of Bitcoin to those who are yet to try it, Centbee has used a different approach. As Gamaroff explained, the company uses Bitcoin as the rail, with the customer not even having to get into all the technical details involved.

To use Centbee’s remittance platform, the user just indicates the amount they wish to transfer on the Centbee Remit app. The user also has to indicate the name and the account number of the recipient. Centbee has to validate the details because, “there is a regulatory requirement about that.” The app then generates the bar code which the user can then use to pay at a retail store through the voucher system.

The company then sends the BSV to a local partner in the country where the recipient resides. With BSV being the fastest blockchain project, this only takes a few seconds. The partner in the other country then converts it into fiat and deposits into the recipient’s bank account.

How fast is the transaction, you ask? Gamaroff illustrated, “You could still be in the line at the cashier’s when you go and create that transaction. Before you’ve even left the store, the money is actually in the bank account on the other side.”

Centbee’s remittance solution has brought down the costs associated with this type of transaction drastically. In Africa, the cost of international remittance averages at 15%, an abnormally high percentage that hinders free trade between the African nations and beyond. But it’s not just the costs that it has brought down as Gamaroff explained:

But not only that, it’s the whole convenience of it. You know, it’s not just about the price usually. It’s the convenience. How easy is it for me to be able to go the store and without having to fill in a whole lot of complex information, be able to make that transaction.

It’s not been all rosy for the company. One of the challenges that it has faced is the regulatory environment. However, Gamaroff and his team have designed Centbee to be compliant. Already, the company requires important information from its users as required by the financial laws.

Away from Centbee, Gamaroff is excited about the developments taking place in the BSV ecosystem. Speaking to CoinGeek’s Jasmine Solana, he stated, “What we’re finding is that everybody is talking about the amazing products that can be built, the ways in which we can disrupt the existing industries. It’s really fascinating.”

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Centbee, SA based Bitcoin wallet and merchant payment ecosystem raises £1 million from Ayre Ventures

Centbee / Ayre Group

Media release

Johannesburg
– April 17, 2019:
South African-based
Bitcoin company, Centbee, announced today that it has closed its Series A round
with entrepreneur Calvin Ayre, founder of Antigua-based investment firm,
Ayre
Ventures
and CoinGeek. Ayre, who has invested £1 million (R18.3 million), announced
that, “Centbee has a track record of making Bitcoin easily
usable and accessible to everyone including
merchants and consumers. They support the original Bitcoin protocol in the form
of Bitcoin SV, and have demonstrated an extraordinary ability to attract users and we’re proud to support their further growth.”

The deal
was facilitated by nChain, leading
blockchain advisory, research and development firm, which previously took an
equity stake in Centbee in January 2018.

Jimmy Nguyen, Chair of nChain Group’s Strategic Advisory Board
and Founding President of the Bitcoin
Association
(which advances Bitcoin SV’s global
ecosystem) remarked: “Centbee has one of the
most user-friendly Bitcoin wallets and merchant payment solutions we have seen.
It is built using the original Bitcoin
protocol, now alive only in the form of Bitcoin SV,
which has a plan for massive blockchain scaling. This enables Centbee to offer low fees and fast transaction speeds. We will continue to work with Centbee as it sparks
greater merchant and consumer adoption of Bitcoin BSV in Africa and
worldwide.” 

Ayre’s investment is part of a broader collaboration to advance
the Bitcoin SV ecosystem.  nChain will also
support Centbee with its technical consulting services and access to its vast
intellectual property portfolio (which is aimed at benefiting growth of the BSV
blockchain). 

Centbee is a Bitcoin wallet provider that makes it easy for
consumers to acquire, store and spend Bitcoin with retailers and other
merchants.  Centbee supports Bitcoin SV
because it is the only blockchain that fulfils the original Bitcoin design and
protocol.  Based in South Africa, Centbee
was founded by co-CEOs, Lorien Gamaroff and Angus Brown. Gamaroff is a leading
expert in blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies. He has consulted and
advised regulators and corporates internationally and is highly regarded
globally as an educator and presenter. Brown has 20 years’ experience in
payments and banking including the role of CEO of eBucks.com, a world-first
bank-backed digital currency created in 2000.

 “Centbee
has made it easy
for customers to buy Bitcoin SV easily at over 50 000
till points in South Africa,” says Brown.
“Through this, we will help people move money simply and cheaply across borders
to support family and friends. The investment will be used for product
development, scaling and growth.”

 Gamaroff is pleased with the progress made
over the last few months at Centbee, “Our development roadmap is well defined
with exciting payment and remittance products coming to market this year. We
look forward to the next phase in our growth and development.”

Centbee
is a gold member of AlphaCode,
powered by Rand Merchant
Investment Holdings
, which identifies, partners and grows disruptive
and scalable fintech businesses. Head of AlphaCode, Dominique Collett said: “We
are delighted that Centbee has attracted the interest of two of the world’s
most prestigious investors in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space. It
certainly augurs well for the growth and development of Centbee and Bitcoin SV
globally.”

The Centbee Wallet is available in the Apple and Google Play stores.

For Centbee and AlphaCode media enquiries: Michelle K Blumenau michelle@turquoisepr.co.za or call +27 83 273 9891.

For Calvin Ayre and Ayre Group
media enquiries:  Ed Pownall at ed@pownall.edu

For nChain media enquiries: media@nChain.com

ABOUT AYRE GROUP:  Founded by
entrepreneur Calvin Ayre, the Ayre Group has investments and interests across
the world. With a passion for content and publishing, fintech, real estate and
property in seven countries around the world, Ayre Group supports and drives
the world’s most disruptive innovations.

Website:  ayre.ag

ABOUT NCHAIN GROUP: The nChain Group is the global leader in
advisory, research and development of blockchain technologies.  Its mission is to enable massive growth and
worldwide adoption of Bitcoin SV, the original Bitcoin protocol as represented
in Satoshi Nakamoto’s whitepaper – focusing on Bitcoin SV as the true
Bitcoin. 

Website:  nChain.com

ABOUT CENTBEE: Centbee is a fintech startup based in South Africa,
that builds products and services that make it easy to send, store and spend
Bitcoin. Their vision is to help users pay for real-world goods and services
using Bitcoin payment processes. The Centbee wallet, available in the App Store
and Google Play store, enables the purchase of Bitcoin SV at till-points in
over 50 000 retailers across South Africa. Centbee Remit makes it easy to send
money across borders in less than one minute.

Website:  centbee.com

ABOUT BITCOIN SV: Bitcoin Satoshi
Vision (BSV) is the only Bitcoin implementation that follows the original
Satoshi Nakamoto whitepaper, and conforms to the original Bitcoin protocol and
design. BSV is the only public blockchain that maintains the original vision
for Bitcoin and will massively scale to become the world’s new money and
enterprise blockchain.

Website: bitcoinsv.io

ABOUT BITCOIN
ASSOCIATION:
Bitcoin Association is the leading global organization for Bitcoin
business. It brings together merchants, exchanges, application developers,
enterprises, miners and others in the Bitcoin ecosystem to advance the growth
of Bitcoin commerce. Bitcoin Association supports Bitcoin
SV (BSV)
 as the original
Bitcoin. As an inclusive organization, it welcomes
companies and organizations who support or wish to learn about BSV and
Satoshi Vision, even if you also support other cryptocurrency or blockchain
projects.

Website:  https://bitcoinassociation.net/

UPCOMING: 
COINGEEK TORONTO CONFERENCE
– May 29-30, Toronto, Canada

Come learn more about what Bitcoin can do with “No Limits”
and the latest on-chain scaling developments with Bitcoin SV at the CoinGeek Toronto conference
May 29-30.  It’s easy to register.  And pay with the
world’s new money and you’ll receive a discount by using BSV via Coingate.

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Centbee updates to Bitcoin SV, the original Bitcoin protocol

Our aim at Centbee is to provide a reliable, safe and user-friendly Bitcoin wallet for people all over the world. We believe that the original Bitcoin protocol, as defined by its inventor, Satoshi Nakamoto, is the most secure and stable cryptocurrency. We’re fully committed to building value for our customers using the most sustainable blockchain – Bitcoin SV.

The 15th November scheduled software upgrade to Bitcoin cash (BCH) was contentious, causing disagreement within the Bitcoin cash community. As a result, Bitcoin cash (BCH) split into two separate coins. Cryptocurrency exchanges around the world have differentiated the two coins using the ticker symbols BCH (Bitcoin ABC blockchain) and BSV (Bitcoin SV blockchain). Right now, both coins can be sent between BCH and BSV wallets using the different software implementations, but that may change.

We believe that only the original Bitcoin protocol has the technical and economic fundamentals to become global money and so we will only be supporting Bitcoin SV (BSV). Users who held Bitcoin cash (BCH) in their Centbee wallets on 15th November 2018 now have two coins, BCH and BSV. The two coins trade at different prices on cryptocurrency exchanges. In the transition period between 15th November and 4th December 2018, your Centbee wallet displayed the weighted average price of these two coins, labelled as BCH in the exchange rate indicator at the bottom of the home screen. This was creating confusion for customers. On 4th December 2018 we updated the exchange rate indicator, labelling the coins as BSV. Even though the label has changed, you still have the same amount of both coins (BCH and BSV) in your wallet.

Many customers want to make use of both coins (BCH and BSV). In order to access both coins, you need to ‘split’ them by sending them from your Centbee wallet to a cryptocurrency exchange or wallet that offers a ‘splitting’ service. Centbee is not affiliated with any specific service and so it will be up to the customer to choose a reliable service they feel comfortable with. Centbee cannot be held responsible if a service selected by a customer fails to satisfy their requirements. Do not provide anyone with your Centbee PIN, or your 12-word ‘mnemonic’ (secret phrase)! Remember to send your BSV coins back to your Centbee wallet after splitting them.

Centbee will continue to support the original Bitcoin vision as represented by Bitcoin SV and coins held in our wallet will be secure.

Our friendly Support Team is available to help in any way they can and can be contacted through these channels:

Email: support@centbee.com

Twitter: @CentbeeSupport

Telegram: https://t.me/centbee

Keep your Centbee wallet updated with the latest software version because we’re launching a number of great new features soon so that we make Centbee the easiest way to store, spend and send Bitcoin.

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