On May 27, Sukuma Ventures rolled out a preliminary version of its GoChapaa mobile app, an ambitious project designed to bring functional, everyday cryptocurrency usage to East Africa. The Kenya/South Korea partnership expects that its multi-pronged approach will simultaneously bolster crypto literacy in the African region, bring down exorbitant transaction costs, and eventually lead to a native spot and futures exchange.
The soft launch, dubbed “MVP,” was held at the Nairobi Garage and attended by several delegates and influential figures in the Kenyan crypto space. It’s estimated that 8.5% of Kenyans own some type of crypto, pointing to a ripe market positioned for significant growth. Before that can happen, however, the larger public will require further education about blockchain technology and assurances that high gas fees do not eat away at their real assets.
Full wallet integration with M-Pesa is one of GoChapaa’s major attributes. M-Pesa is a phone-based app that facilitates money transfers and micro-financing. It controls 99% of the mobile money market in Kenya, but is also used in Egypt, South Africa, Tanzania, Mozambique, Ghana, and other nations. The ubiquity of M-Pesa’s service rivals that of WeChat in China.
GoChapaa will upon full launch allow users to deposit and withdraw currencies—crypto or fiat— with single-click convenience. It will be possible to directly deposit Kenyan shillings to an M-Pesa account from a crypto wallet holding bitcoin or ether.
The development of GoChapaa started in 2019 with the vision of a single product to facilitate both transactions and trading. Boasting a team of local crypto experts within Kenya, GoChapaa has been built with full regulatory and governmental compliance in mind. Fully developed apps for iOS and Android are expected to be widely released sometime in Q3 2022.