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Re: Interview: Kipochi founder Pelle Braendgaard

From: Pelle Braendgaard <pelle@stakeventures.com>
Date: Wed, 7 Aug 2013 00:04:01 +0200
Message-ID: <CAHtLsUULfLGFadkrM0uSvhr4mvzo1GHMSRZErbTT+KAM0uZ6Ww@mail.gmail.com>
To: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>
Cc: Melvin Carvalho <melvincarvalho@gmail.com>, Web Payments <public-webpayments@w3.org>
Hi Manu,
See answers below
On Mon, Aug 5, 2013 at 2:53 AM, Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>wrote:

> On 08/04/2013 03:20 PM, Pelle Braendgaard wrote:
> > I'm on this list as well actually. Feel to ask me any questions.
> I've got a few :).
> First off, great work, Pelle! Very smart move, approaching a population
> that already treats mobile wallets and electronic currency as the norm.
> Even more cool that you're basing it on Bitcoin.

> For those that haven't seen the site yet:
> https://kipochi.com/
> A few questions:
> How have you found the regulatory environment over there wrt. Bitcoin?

I think most regulators still don't know or understand Bitcoin. We're just
in the early days really of reaching out to them to explain it together
with the Bitcoin Foundation

> Is this something you think you'll be able to scale to most of Africa,
> South America, India, and Europe?
That is the plan. We are currently available everywhere except the US.
Marketing roll out is more difficult to do and we have to focus in certain
areas with Africa first and Latin America second.

> Why not the US? Regulatory environment? Or something else?

It's the regulatory environment. We need to make sure we don't cross the
fincen rules. Their rules aren't really bad in itself. The largest problem
is the state regulatory environments. We have to deal 40+ states
registrations. This is a serious issue for anyone dealing with bitcoin in
the US.

> What does Kipochi mean?

Kipochi means wallet in Swahili.

> Are you concerned about the instability of the governments over there?
> Bribery (or "failing" to pay bribes)? Attracting the wrong type of
> attention from a local militia?

Not really. We are primarily an internet based business and all important
resources are not in Africa. Only a few countries are plagued by local
militias so I'm not too worried about that.

What's the plan to compete with MPesa? Have you learned things about
> MPesa in the last year that surprised/amazed you?

MPesa for users is amazing. We're not trying to compete with them in Kenya.
It is an aging system though and it is very difficult for merchants to
integrate with them. The creativity of the developers doing so is extremely
fascinating though.

> What's the plan to get this app on people's phones? Is the approach
> through carriers? Or bottom-up?
We are primarily mobile web based so we are carrier independent. We have a
USSD version which works on feature phones and this is in testing with an
undisclosed operator. But this has to be rolled out through carriers. I am
personally a much more bottom up person though. But to reach the widest
amount of people you have to partner in some way with carriers.

> Is there a demo of the software that we could look at?

If you're not in the US you can just go to Kipochi and click the wallet
icon. It will ask you for a phone number to register.


> -- manu
> --
> Manu Sporny (skype: msporny, twitter: manusporny, G+: +Manu Sporny)
> Founder/CEO - Digital Bazaar, Inc.
> blog: Meritora - Web payments commercial launch
> http://blog.meritora.com/launch/

http://kipochi.com - The Bitcoin Wallet for the World
http://payglo.be -     Blog about payments from a global perspective
Received on Tuesday, 6 August 2013 22:04:28 UTC

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