First African Blockchain Phone Call Made in Rwanda

Indonesian fintech start-up launched it's XPhone in Africa, a phone using blockchain technology to make calls and send messages.

First African Blockchain Phone Call Made in Rwanda

The first blockchain mobile phone in Africa was launched in Kigali, Rwanda on Tuesday. Manufactured by Pundi X, the phone can run a blockchain OS and is also Android compatible. 

PundiX is an Indonesian tech start-up that aims to improve fiancial inclusion with their blockchain technology. Their new blockchain phone allows users to control data, and keep it private from airtime carriers by using their FunctionX Transmission Protocol.

Zac Cheah, CEO and co-founder of PundiX, unveiled the company's XPhone at the GSMA Mobile 360 Africa conference in Kigali. "The XPhone allows everyone to make a phone call on the blockchain," Cheah said. At the conference he invited the host, Anna Ekeledo of Afrilabs, on to the stage to make the first phone call using blockchain in Africa.  

A data connection is needed, along with other local nodes to be able to use the technology to make phone calls but the call is not routed through any central network. Each phone is registered on the blockchain and will also be a node for other phones to be able to access the blockchain.

The phone will be limited to 5,000 devices and the company are looking to add their FunctionX operating system to exisiting hardware. XPhones can act as nodes on the PundiX blockchain and is equipped with cryptowallets. 

The company is innovating payments in South East Asia, rolling out POS systems that allow ewallet, crypto, and fiat transactions.