BITCOIN SMART METERS MAY REVOLUTIONIZE THE WAY SOUTH AFRICANS PAY THEIR ELECTRICITY BILLS
Johannesburg Energy Management Inc. Invirohub recently offered consumers a new way to pre-pay for electricity: Bitcoin.
The meter made by the company will integrate Bitcoin wallet address, 3G SIM card and one connection to the server (calculate the real-time price of Bitcoin accurate to the minute). Users only need to send their bitcoin to the freewallet address of the meter, and Invirohub will charge the meter into their meter.
“A few weeks ago, I suddenly thought of this idea. I realized that it wouldn’t take much effort to integrate all of this into our current software,” said Lorien Gamaroff, Technical Director of Invirohub. “So I started working and soon integrated them into a pick-up.”
Invirhub is currently piloting this trial in the area around Johnsnyburg, and some of these areas have been confirmed to be available in the coming months.
Gamaroff said the company’s existing users (citizens and property companies) are not very demanding on bitcoin payments. Few users understand the concept of Bitcoin or the benefits of using Bitcoin, so Invirhub did not originally offer bitcoin payment options for their customers.
However, he believes that with the promotion of bitcoin awareness, people’s indifference to Bitcoin will change.
“In fact, Bitcoin is now integrated into the software. If any user chooses to pay in Bitcoin, they can do it. In addition, because the cost-effectiveness of payment is clearly in front of them, they will like this concept. ”
Invirohub’s bitcoin payment business has achieved exceptional success in rural areas. The residents there have had difficulty paying electricity bills in the past.
Gamaroff said that residents of a small town like this can only afford a few South African rand electricity bills, which can be used to buy $2 electricity every few days. For these customers, technologies like Bitcoin are easy to understand because they mostly know how to pay like M-Pesa. M-Pesa is a mobile payment system developed in Kenya with at least 14 million active users.
Bitcoin is growing in Africa
Interest in Bitcoin is growing in South Africa and across the African continent.
Two weeks ago, ZAbitcoinATM announced that it will deploy the Lamassu Bitcoin ATM in Johannesburg, which will be the first time that the Bitcoin ATM has landed in Africa. In addition, another plan to deploy Bitcoin ATMs in Cape Town is also underway.
Deploying more Bitcoin ATMs is a step forward for non-professionals to understand this digital currency. There are no banks in many parts of Africa, so payment service platforms like Visa and Paypal cannot be used. However, services that allow consumers to use Bitcoin payments worldwide have begun to evolve.