Bitcoin startup 37Coins has launched an SMS-based wallet that can be used on any mobile phone in the world, enabling users to make Bitcoin transactions even without an Internet connection.
Purely designed for the SMS functionality, the 37Coins wallet will serve as a normal, tangible wallet and is initially conceptualized to provide cellphone owners in areas void of an advanced communications setup with access to the benefits of the virtual currency Bitcoin.
This technology simplifies making Bitcoin payments and proves to be viable because by the end of 2014, global cellphone penetration will reach 95.5%, according to the International Telecommunications Union.
With this promising technology expected to bring Bitcoin to more users around the world, the primary industry that drives the Bitcoin economy, the Bitcoin casino gaming sector, is expected to greatly benefit from it. The ability to use mobile phones to send and receive BTC transactions will enable bettors to engage in online casino gaming or to even experience mobile Bitcoin casino, for instance.
However, world-wide reception still remains to be a challenge. Nevertheless, to make its product a global success, 37Coins has already started partnering with Asian companies, resulting in a recent tie-up with a Singaporean-based startup and in possible talks with a local operator in the Philippines.
In order for the SMS wallet to function, a gateway must be established first. The gateway, which is described as a private operator who owns a mobile device, will act as a conduit for Bitcoin transactions through its local number and Internet connection.
Similar to the idea of Bitcoin mining, gateways will be rewarded with small BTC transaction fees in exchange for their service.
37Coins has designed the acquisition of its SMS-based wallet to be easy. Users can head on to the company’s website to get their wallets, but those who have feature phones and lack web access will automatically have a hosted wallet upon receiving a small BTC amount through their mobile phone number.
Meanwhile, text commands, together with the receiver’s phone number, are needed in order to send bitcoins or fiat currencies. The gateway will confirm every transaction, but users can choose to turn on the two-factor authentication system for added security.