BitFinance: Revolutionizing Zimbabwe's Fragile Economy with Bitcoin

By Federico Antoni, Steve Ciesinski, Howard Rosen, Ryan Kissick
2015 | Case No. E575 | Length 24 pgs.

What is Bitcoin?  How does it work?  Why is the technology so innovative, and what are Bitcoin’s potential use cases, specifically within Africa?  This case describes the potential for Bitcoin to transform and leapfrog traditional banking infrastructure in Africa.  Through the lens of Mbwana Alliy, partner at the seed capital fund Savannah Fund, the case tees up the question of which African countries present the best business opportunities for Bitcoin.  In addition, the case examines BitFinance, an early stage Zimbabwe-based Bitcoin start-up founded by Tawanda Kembo, Verengai Mabika, and Tawanda Maguze.  The case documents the company’s early traction with Bitcoin and explores BitFinance’s key strategic challenges during the company’s first year of operations.

Learning Objective

The case focuses on three key learning objectives: 1) Evaluating Bitcoin’s ability to “leapfrog” traditional banking infrastructure in sub-Saharan Africa; 2) Comparing Bitcoin opportunities across different African countries from the perspective of an investor; 3) Determining how to grow a Bitcoin start-up from the perspective of Zimbabwean entrepreneurs.
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