— By John Frank Githiaka – Chief Executive Officer – Benkiko Africa
P2P has stood out as one of the best options to cash in and cash out cryptocurrencies especially with governments forbidding their financial institutions from facilitating direct deposits and withdrawals.
P2P is the direct exchange of cryptocurrencies for cash and cash for cryptocurrencies. This works well in enabling Africans to buy and sell cryptocurrencies frictionless. But it’s no surprise Kenyans are rank globally #1 in P2P crypto-trading as Mpesa essentially uses the same method to facilitate deposits and withdrawals.
Benkiko, a digital bank that uses new and existing technologies to build financial infrastructure for the Digital Economy. Powering your digital lifestyle by enabling you to do more with your money online, instantly, and at very low fees wants to tap into this.
How Does Benkiko P2P work
M-Pesa is the most popular mobile transfer system in Kenya, to work, you give a physical agent cash to make a deposit, however, with cryptocurrencies trust is established by the platform in such a way that you can send cash to an online agent who then makes a crypto deposit to your account.
When withdrawing, just like Mpesa where you send your digital balance to an agent and the agent gives you cash, with P2P you sell the crypto balance to another peer and get cash.
Benkiko is building a digital bank that gives you the freedom to do more with your money online and invest in cryptocurrencies.
They employ P2P deposits and withdrawals in a unique way and one that offers you an opportunity to make passive income. Like Mpesa agents, a Benkiko P2P trader can facilitate deposits and withdrawals for users but earn direct margins from it.
Benkiko USD or USDB is the first cryptocurrency to be listed on the platform’s exchange. USDB comes from a set of cryptocurrencies called stablecoins, which like the name suggests, have a stable value usually pegged to national currencies. USDB is specifically pegged to the US Dollar on a 1:1 ratio and issued on the Stellar blockchain.
While on Mpesa you get a 1:1 deposit with the Kenya shilling Benkiko gives you a 1:109 deposit with the USD or at the real-time exchange rates.
How to facilitate deposit and withdrawals on Benkiko
Like Mpesa float, you first need to have USDBs in your account. Benkiko sells USDB stablecoin at real-time exchange rates and you can buy via mobile money, bank, or card.
- Step 1: Setup your account and your local payment methods.
- Step 2: Deposit with Benkiko to get USDBs to your account.
- Step 3: Setup an ad to sell USDB at up to Ksh 5 margin above exchange rates per USDB.
- Step 4: Setup an ad to buy USDB at up to Ksh 5 margin below exchange rates per USDB.
- Step 5: Respond to user deposits and withdrawals while making up to Ksh 10 per USDB.
Like every other P2P platform, Benkiko has put in place all the right mechanisms to secure your payment data and money from fraud. The customer support chat is always available in case of a dispute.
P2P payment methods are now available for Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda and Tanzania. With up to 10 popular payment methods in the 5 markets, users can now deposit to enjoy the financial freedom Benkiko promises.
Upcoming Benkiko features:
In line with Benkiko’s goal of powering the digital economy with faster, cheaper, and borderless payments, here are a few features lined up:
- Benkiko mini-apps – These are apps that allow users to access on-demand services and pay with Benkiko. Think food delivery, shopping, and freelancing services.
- Crypto trading – The platform is yielding users’ demand for Bitcoin and Ethereum support. Though the plan was to encourage crypto spending, bitcoin and Ethereum will be enabled soon.
- Developer support – With the capability to host mini-apps, Benkiko is rolling out a beta test of their SDK and APIs, which according to the team are aimed at making it easy even for beginner Devs to deploy their innovative solutions.
- NFTs and DeFi – Only feature most of the users will be looking forward to is easy access to NFT marketplace and DeFi platform. These, the platform said, could be built on the Stellar blockchain and accessed on Benkiko as mini-apps or with their Ethereum bridge, users will be able to move money easily from Benkiko to Ethereum DeFis and return to spend on Benkiko.