Bitcoin exchange BitSika has launched in Ghana, enabling users to buy large and small sums of bitcoin instantly via web or USSD.
Launched earlier this year, BitSika allows both connected and unconnected people to buy and sell bitcoin, and also acts as a wallet service.
Founder Atsu Davoh told Disrupt Africa he had come up with the idea after realising the large bitcoin community in Ghana was unserved by any local platforms.
“In Ghana, you can’t buy large sums of bitcoin from one source at once. You have to buy smaller sums from different places, at different time intervals. Buyers therefore never get their coins on time and the coins are usually too expensive,” he said.
“Also, the millions of Ghanaians who do not have internet are prevented from engaging in this revolution.”
The bootstrapped startup is in the process of raising a US$100,000 seed round which it hopes will fund its mission to lead Ghana’s crypto space. Davoh said the team had been encouraged by the early uptake of the platform.
“In less than two days, there were over 200 requests to join. The team anticipated 20. The increasing number of new users meant that we had to increase the RAM of our web server to handle the traffic,” he said.
“BitSika also ran out of free bitcoin wallet addresses to give out to new users because we had exhausted all the addresses given to us by the API startup. We refused to charge users for addresses because that was not part of the initial plan. Users kept coming in and their orders kept increasing past what was normally allowed through MTN mobile money.”
The startup plans to build on this initial uptake, and eventually expand to the rest of West Africa once it has perfected its model. BitSika customers are charged three per cent commission on any purchases made through the platform, which Davoh said was lower than international competitors.