Yolft Technology the company behind Bitkesh, a money transfer platform that facilitates money transfers, recently launched a stablecoin, uZar along with the supporting crypto the Uhuru wallet.
The uZar token runs on the Stellar blockchain and is augmented by a network of agents that facilitate transactions. At the moment Uhuru wallets are funded via automated teller machine (ATM) deposits and Efts.
According to Reginald Tsvetu, a co-founder at the technology company which is based in South Africa (SA), the Uhuru innovation is a WhatsApp based digital wallet that targets the unbanked population. The wallet application enables users to pay for utilities with the uZar stable token and to exchange this for cash.
“It (uZar) allows users to process transactions such as making payments for Dstv, Avon, inuka as well as cashing out. Further, this comes with the function of sending money locally and across borders,” explained Tsvetu.
Some three weeks after launch, the Uhuru wallet platform had recorded more than 600 sign ups and management believes more will sign up as the application gains popularity.
Tsvetu, who also doubles as Chief Marketing and Business development officer, says they in fact, expect this innovation’s growth rate to outpace that of Bitkesh.
According to him, the objective is to now target corporates with Bitkesh while individuals are encouraged to go for the Uhuru wallet.
A Zimbabwe native, Tsvetu also revealed that a stablecoin based on the Zimdollar had been created but is yet to be activated.
“We also created the zwl one (stablecoin) but it hasn’t been activated. We are still deciding whether it’s necessary and however we will have to do it once its popularity and utility grows.
South Africa is home to the largest number of Zimbabwean migrant workers and a majority of them are believed to be undocumented. This lack of documentation (provided by the South African government ) compels some these migrant workers to use informal channels when remitting money across the border into Zimbabwe.
In the absence of alternatives, undocumented migrants are forced to use couriers like bus drivers, relatives or friends when sending money home. This mode of money transfer is not always reliable, sometimes the funds never reach their intended beneficiaries and the fees charged are often exorbitant.
However, the emergence of stablecoins like uZar and uZwl makes the task of sending money domestically and regionally much easier and more secure.
This is because cryptocurrencies and stablecoins based on the blockchain are censorship resistant. This means anyone can send and receive funds even if they do not have government issued identity documents. The Uhuru wallet is a trustless application that guarantees the recipient will get the exact amount sent. There are no hidden costs!
Users only need complete the eKYC where they upload proof of identity, selfie as well as a picture of them holding this proof.
Meanwhile, Tsvetu agrees that his organization is leaning towards enabling remittances into his home country. However, he cautions that a decision to focus on remittances as well as the activation of the uZwl stablecoin can only be made once certain objectives have been met.
“Yes remittances are the goal. So what will happen is that when someone in say SA sends money via Uhuru wallet, the recipient is able to trade that Uhuru balance with a peer for whatever currency as they agree. They will be doing the cashouts for people in exchange for balance which they will use for their payments.
Tsvetu is confident that people in Zimbabwe that receive money from South Africa will probably want to use this token for other things.
“They will sell the balance (tokens) to agents and sales reps of services/goods such as Avon, inuka, Dstv.