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Bitsika Records $39.9m Transactions as Revenue Spikes




By Adedapo Adesanya

Popular social payments app, Bitsika has announced an impressive increase in its number in volume, revenue, users, and transactions for the year 2020.

According to the numbers made available via the company’s Twitter account, it was claimed that from January 1, 2020, to January 1, 2021, the volume of transactions carried out increased by 3,998.3 per cent. This happened as it processed a total of $39,953,115 in transaction volume compared to $974,864 we processed in 2019.

Providing a breakdown, the company, which is a wallet for Cedis, Naira, Dollars, CFA currencies, cryptocurrencies, among others, noted that deposits amounted to $18,872,474; $17,890,807 in payouts (withdrawals); and $3,189,834 in internal peer-to-peer transfers.

Revenue wise, Bitsika collected $1,027,583 in fees in 2020 compared with $329 in 2019, indicating a significant rise of 312,235.3 per cent.

Speaking of the veracity of the figures, the company noted, “These volumes are from self-determined, autonomous [successful] transactions that users initiated and performed themselves. We did NOT count system transactions that users did not initiate.”

Bitsika announced that it processed a total of 268,430 individual (successful) transactions, an increase of 5,008.5 per cent compared to 4,832 successful transactions carried out in 2019.

The company added that of the said successful transactions, 21,418 were internal peer-to-peer transactions while the rest (247,012) was a combination of deposit and payout transactions.

Its user base grew to 95,509 registered users; more than 95 per cent of which came onto the platform in 2020. Within the year, Bitsika noted that 16,507 individual users made at least one successful transaction.

The company noted that 11,142 users currently have some money on the app, waiting to use it on any of its many features.

Speaking on the result, the Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Mr Atsu Davoh explained that, “This number is NOT our take-home profit. After expenses and payments to our other third-parties are done, what we’re left with (net profit) is significantly much less.

“The best part about this particular metric is that it has helped us remain technically profitable and cash-flow positive for every single month of 2020.”

The Bitsika CEO explained that at the start of the year, the team had made plans to increased its numbers to get 20,000 users and process $10,000,000 in transactions, and the numbers were a testimony that it exceeded its own expectations.

He said, “These numbers are self-reported, but apart from our internal peer-to-peer transactions and volumes, there is an additional receipt of every single one of our transactions in the databases of their-party platforms like Futterwave and its equivalent for the other currencies we serve. This makes transparency much easier.”

Looking back on the year, the Ghanaian-born startup brought onboard film star, John Dumelo and musician, Joey B as well as inviting Nigerian pop king, David Davido Adeleke, his manager, Asa Asika, and celebrity tech-savvy lawyer, Mr Bobo Ajudua as shareholders.

The impact of these influencers could not be overlooked in the general outcome of these numbers as Mr Davoh noted about Davido, “We decided to go into this partnership with Davido because, in Africa, I don’t see anyone with his crazy numbers. I think his social engagement is the best in Africa. This is purely a business decision and we believe with the Davido board, now we can even 10x every single month.”

In 2021, the CEO says “We want to raise our Series A, get our own licensees in all the markets we operate, start our internship program for the design and tech communities, and provide more features in our app. We also want to expand our reach in and beyond fintech.”

Bitsika wishes to increase its 2020 numbers this year and with the positioning, the three-year-old startup is on course to achieve this.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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NCC Orders Implementation of Harmonised Short Codes



harmonised short codes

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has directed mobile network operators (MNOs) to commence implementation of the approved harmonised short codes (HSC) for providing certain services to telecom consumers in the country.

The Director of Public Affairs at the NCC, Mr Reuben Muoka, in a statement on Monday, said the unified short codes were approved in line with its consumer-centric approach to telecom regulation.

According to him, the use of harmonised short codes is aimed at achieving uniformity in common short codes across networks.

This means that the code for checking airtime balance is the same across all mobile networks for the same function, irrespective of the network a consumer uses.

With the new codes, telecom consumers using the over 226 million active mobile lines in the country can now use the same codes to access services across the networks.

Already, the agency has set a deadline of May 17, 2023, for all mobile networks to fully migrate from hitherto diverse short codes to harmonised codes.

The period between now and May 17, 2023, is provided by the NCC to enable telecom consumers to familiarise themselves with the new codes for various services.

Under the new harmonised short codes regime, 13 common short codes have been approved by the NCC and include 300 for Call Centre/Help Desk on all mobile networks; 301 for voice Mail Deposit; 302 for Voice Mail Retrieval; 303 for Borrow Services; 305 for STOP Service; 310 for Check Balance, and 311 for Credit Recharge.

Also, the common code for Data Plan across networks is now 312. In line with the new direction, 321 is for Share Services, while 323 is for Data Plan Balance. The code 996 is now for Verification of Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Registration/NIN-SIM Linkage.

The code 2442 is retained for Do-Not-Disturb (DND) unsolicited messaging complaint management, while the common code, 3232, is also retained for Porting Services, otherwise called Mobile Number Portability.

The old and new harmonised short codes will run concurrently up until May 17, 2023, when all networks are expected to have fully migrated to full implementation of the new codes.

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Bitfinex Lists CryptoGPT to Revolutionise Approach to AI




By Adedapo Adesanya

Cryptocurrency exchange, Bitfinex, has listed the first-of-its-kind CryptoGPT token ($GPT) in what has been touted as a revolutionised approach to artificial intelligence (AI).

The CryptoGPT, a cryptocurrency token built on an Ethereum platform, is the first-of-its-kind multi-value gas token and has the necessary demand as fuel for network transactions. It is topped up with value funnels from validator staking, cash flow from core products, and power of fee treasury which can be deployed for liquidity events like buybacks, burns, and/or expanded yield.

In a statement, the company said CryptoGPT token would revolutionise the world of AI by decentralising the data industry and giving billions of users across the world, including Africa, full control of their own AI data and freedom to monetize such data as they live their daily lives, creating a sustainable income stream.

CryptoGPT is a dedicated layer-2 blockchain built to create trillion-dollar data and power the AI revolution. The blockchain hosts apps with 2+ million active users, placing it as one of the biggest blockchains at launch. This innovation uniquely merges blockchain technology with AI and offers an ecosystem that treats data like an asset class.

The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) is bringing drastic changes in the technological fields around the world, where if implemented, it automates systems for more efficiency and performance.

From the comfort of a mobile phone and in multiple fields, AI is continuously providing high-performance and accurate system work with efficiency whilst playing an important role in helping humans work better without the help of humans. Since its inception, there is no doubt that the algorithm and success of AI is data-driven, and currently, many big tech companies and players like Meta, Google, and Amazon make billions and trillions of dollars by monetizing users’ AI data.

By creating an ecosystem that incentivizes users to earn crypto tokens and avoid constant inflation, CryptoGPT lets users capitalize on their data through its versatile $GPT token.

“No matter how much CryptoGPT ultimately decentralizes data, the $GPT token is a good investment because users can amass significant quantities of it by using the ecosystem’s apps and making referrals. This makes CryptoGPT the first sustainable ‘to earn’ ecosystem that pays users for contributing data that is then sold in the global data marketplace,” the company said.

CryptoGPT, unlike most participants in the AI boom, entered the marketplace with a compelling value proposition setting itself apart.

Currently, AI is used for different purposes and in different fields like virtual assistants or chats, healthcare agriculture, security and surveillance, logistics, shopping and fashion, agriculture, and farming. The CryptoGPT has an ecosystem of millions of daily app users with over 20+ apps in these fields as well as lifestyle, music, dating, travel, and gaming.

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Nigerian Fintechs Mull New Registry to Tackle Fraud




By Adedapo Adesanya

Financial technology (fintech) companies in Nigeria are reportedly working on a joint strategy that will help create a new registry to tackle fraudulent transactions within their networks.

A report from the publication revealed that three people familiar with the development said the registry had been stylised as Project Radar.

The registry, when public, would enable companies to pool details, including banking and government identity data, of individuals and groups that have attempted or made fraudulent transactions.

The report revealed that representatives of more than a dozen companies — including payments processor Flutterwave, digital banks Kuda and Branch, and savings app Cowrywise — joined a call on Monday (March 6), to come up with the move.

It was reported that the most vocal appeared to be Mr Olugbenga Agboola, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Africa’s most valuable startup, Flutterwave.

This could be tied to recent happenings around the company after news broke that Flutterwave was hacked for N2.9 billion ($6.3 million) in over 60 transactions in February.

Court documents showed the company filed a suit in Lagos against 16 commercial banks to freeze over 100 accounts suspected of receiving proceeds of the reported hack.

Business Post later reported that Flutterwave denied the hack, saying it observed an unusual trend of transactions on some users’ profiles, and it quickly took action.

The company said, “We want to confirm that no user lost any funds, and we take pride in the fact that our security measures were able to address the issue before any harm could be done to our users.

“Our commitment to keeping our users’ financial information safe and secure is why we invest heavily in security initiatives such as periodic audits, certifications, and licenses such as the PCI-DSS & ISO 27001. These are in line with global best practices in information security management.

“We want you to continue to trust us and feel secure using Flutterwave for your business needs. Our commitment is to enable your business growth while keeping your financial information safe and secure.”

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