Startup Wala Facilitates Ethereum Micro-Payments For Africans

Startup Wala Facilitates Ethereum Micro-Payments For Africans

In Uganda, South Africa and Zimbabwe locals are benefiting from Wala startup, which facilitates micropayments with no fees. People there easily put an average credit of $0.27 on their mobiles using crypto-tokens, based on Ethereum. How is it possible?

Wala Changing The Crypto-World

South African startup Wala is disrupting the stereotype that it is only possible to use cyber money when paying fees. Moreover, this young company challenges itself to revolutionize the financial state of lots of African countries. At least, that’s what Wala’s CEO Tricia Martinez has told Coindesk.

Our top trading bots

Last year December, the startup gathered $1.2 million by vending “dala” tokens, based on Ethereum, via ICO. And it doesn’t look like Wala is going to stop.

Currently, the startup is enabling 6,300 transactions every day for over 57,000 wallet accounts in South Africa, Uganda as well as in Zimbabwe. Impressive, right? It is also interesting that a considerable number of these remittances and other operations doesn’t overcome $1.

Wala is demonstrating the whole world that blockchain-based micropayments are possible, and, most importantly, that they are affordable for citizens of developing countries with low income.

It Wasn’t So Sweet From The Beginning

At first, before the “dala” ICO, Wala was helping users in Africa carry out transactions via its mobile app. However, local banks were charging Wala’s users high fees for almost every step they were making. So not to hurt its customers and save the business model, Wala came up with a solution.

"Zero-fee is the solution, but banks could not support this," the Wala’s CEO Martinez explained.

And this solution was cryptos which offered what the banks did but with lower charges. Now Wala’s project is functioning across ten markets. Therefore, as Martinez has explained, if a person lives in Uganda and his or her relatives live in, let's say, Zimbabwe, the person can pay for their electricity or put credit on their phones remotely and without any charges. And that's all thanks to dala.

How Does Wala Decrease Fees?

As per data, in 2018 Ethereum transaction charges constituted $0.17-$4.15. This is costly as for micropayments that Wala carries out. So how does the startup survive?


The answer is in microraiden technology. It is a “cut” version of raiden, which resembles bitcoin’s Lightning Network (LT). Raiden also carries transactions off-chain in order to increase the scale. However, microraiden doesn’t facilitate numerous channels and payments hopping bidirectionally like raiden itself. On the contrary, it permits dApp devs to establish a channel that exclusively gets payments.

Thanks to this technology Wala carried all clients’ payments via that channel and then "packs" all those operations to set them onto Ethereum blockchain.

Inevitably, the settlement process includes transaction fees, but at the moment Wala is able to devour those charges thanks to the funds it collected during the ICO as well as its venture capital investment. Overall, that makes up $2.2 million.

Not By Ethereum Alone

Despite the satisfactory current state, Wala is looking into other reasonable solutions for its clients. Thus, it considers an opportunity of dealing with several blockchains at a time as long as the partnership only with the one can be a massive risk for the company and its clients.

Centralization. At Least, For Now

The use of microraiden is not the only means that Wala uses for reducing the transaction costs. The startup also centralizes its operations at some point.

Wala plays a role of an intermediary between users of “dala” and the Ethereum. And, actually, it is indeed useful for its customers. The thing is that it is normal for customers to delete their apps mistakenly, get their phones stolen or misplaced, sometimes two family members share one phone, so it is not possible to solve all these issues if the app is not centralized and the company doesn't take care of its users.

Nevertheless, Wala is not going to remain centralized, but its decentralized future lies in the hands of Ethereum’s scalability. Before the project is finally decentralized, the company wants to let users control their private keys. This way, they will have more ownership and will be aware of the entire process. So that is how the decentralization will be achieved, explained the CEO.

Huge Plans

On top of everything, Wala intends to spread the use of dala all over Africa. In the foreseeable future, the startup plans to set off a 'microjobs platform.’ In accordance with their plans, it will offer info for little tasks such as completing research surveys or taking pics.

Overall, Wala wants to partner with 11 countries and even the UK.

Ethereum Devs Postpone Constantinople Fork Due to a Vulnerability
Anticipated to occur on January 17, the long-awaited Ethereum’s Constantinople update has been delayed again. The cause is the recently found loophole in...
Lee Names Factors For Bitcoin to be Worth $150,000
Since mid-November bitcoin has been experiencing turmoil when it started falling from the margin of $6,300. As of writing, BTC’s price is $3,311, one of...
Crypto-Trader: Bitcoin Will Lose Another 30% Before Seeing the Bottom
This week bitcoin has gone through the biggest turmoil this year, losing 16% of its value just in one day and over 70% of its value within this year. However,...
Worth $250,000? Draper Says His Bitcoin Prediction is Still «Solid»
Crypto-bull and venture capitalist Tim Draper holds on his previous claim in four years bitcoin’s price might surge as high as to $250,000. However, he...
JPMorgan: Investors Should Keep an Eye on These DLT-Friendly Companies
If you are an investor, it might still be challenging for you to get exposed to DLT, unless, for sure, you are purchasing bitcoin. To ease the life of its...
Wolf of Wall Street Belfort Relates Bitcoin to a Scam
The real-life ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ Jordan Belfort keeps bashing on bitcoin. Once in a Facebook interview with a businessman Patrick Bet-David, he suggested...
Google Cloud Partners With Digital Asset to Ease The Life of Blockchain Apps Developers
Digital Asset, a fintech entity that develops DLT-based products, is joining with Google Cloud to work on a kit of instruments and supplies for blockchain-purposes....
After Predicting BTC Surge to $250,000 Tim Draper Says It Will Beat The Internet
Some days ago billionaire Tim Draper claimed that the “king of all cryptos” would reach the rate of $250,000 in a couple of years, and he does not seem...
Goldman Sachs Hires Its First Crypto-Trader
The cryptos are getting a wider recognition on Wall Street as its titan Goldman Sachs enlists a cyber-asset trader to assist its clients in purchasing...
Ether Capital Shares Start Trading On Toronto Exchange
Crypto-companies keep conquering the field of finances. In particular, Ether Capital – the stock of cyber assets investment firm – started trading on NEO...
Pornhub Starts Accepting Verge As Payment
Dreams come true? The lovers of adult videos and crypto-enthusiasts at the same time now have an opportunity to blend the useful with the agreeable, as...
John McAfee Claims He Gets $105,000 For Each Twitter Crypto Ad
John McAfee, a known software mogul and the cyber-money eager supporter, perhaps, has been shaping public confidence in cryptos for huge sums. Recently...
PayPal’s Exec Believes Bitcoin Will Become a Popular Payment Option
Several years ago American online payments system PayPal was one of the risk-takers who started accepting BTC. Now, the company’s executive John Rainey...
Charlie Lee: Litecoin Cash - Scam
The fork of Litecoin, which is expected on February 19, caused a wave of anger and accusations of fraud after a similar warning from Charlie Lee.The creator...
Why Bitcoin Will Never Survive Without Fiat
People consider bitcoin unique in lots of terms. But it is especially peculiar if compared to the economy of a country. Bitcoin network will perennially...