Anyone with a keen eye on the advances of the digital realm has heard about the rise of Bitcoins. For those that haven’t, Bitcoins are a type of digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units ofcurrency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank. In short, internet cash; a form of digital currency.
While Bitcoins are a relatively new phenomenon, the use of Bitcoins has been growing in popularity among businesses of all sizes, including restaurants, law firms, and popular online services like WordPress. At the end of August 2013, the value of all Bitcoins in circulation exceeded $1.5 billion USD, with millions of dollars worth of Bitcoins exchanged daily.Bitcoin users worldwide are now able to send and receive payments, as well as view their transaction history, with a basic cell phone, all thanks to SMS.Two days before the Bitcoin International Conference kicked off this year in Rio de Janeiro, Coinapult joined forces with 37 Coins to launch a new Bitcoin transfer service using SMS messaging.Ira Miller, CEO of Coinapult, claims that people with the least resources will benefit most from this new SMS Bitcoin transfer technology.He told the Panam Post that the low cost of SMS incentivised the development of the cutting-edge technology. “The US $1.02 fee on text messages is still competitive with the best rates available today for remittances,” he said.For entrepreneurs, this is a valuable new tool that small businesses can benefit from in rural areas.“The SMS Bitcoin wallets provide these entrepreneurs with a free and immediately accessible business tool. People can accept payments from anyone in the world with the technology they already have in their pockets,” Mr Miller said.“Many of these people are also discriminated against by financial institutions, which view them as risky and undesirable clients. It’s very difficult for these people to send money, get a bank account, receive credit, or pay with credit cards…. Simply put, these people may be far from using Bitcoin today, but they are the people who need it most.”Money transfer systems based on SMS are already successfully being used in other countries, such as Paraguay with Giros Tigo. It will be interesting to watch the effects of SMS Bitcoin transfers unveil!