In one of our previous articles, we have discussed about mobile payments and how its adoption is years behind schedule. We also discussed the need for new mobile banking and payment technologies to address not just the developed market, but also the developing markets. If these mobile based services are capable of running on any mobile phone, it can make a huge difference to both the company and the customers alike.
It looks like we are reaching there sooner than expected. Following the success of M-Pesa and BitPesa, there is a new kid on the block aiming to revolutionize Bitcoin storage and transactions. BitSIM has developed a zero footprint SIM card that can turn any phone into a Bitcoin wallet and payment device.
This interesting piece of hardware is called ZSIM and it can be stuck on the circuitry of any conventional sim card, such that the ZSIM is in between the SIM and the phone. The ZSIM hardware layer on the normal SIM will convert the carrier provided SIM card into a full-fledged encrypted bitcoin wallet. Where, one can store Bitcoin or make payments using them. ZSIM is compatible with almost all types of phones including the basic (feature) phones.
BitSIM seems to have created ZSIM by keeping developing countries in mind. In developing countries, mobile phone penetration is high, but most of these are generally feature phones. ZSIM enabled phones can be used to store, transfer or make payments with Bitcoin using NFC or SMS. ZSIM sits over the original SIM card as an overlay SIM and opens up new user services that weren’t previously made available by either the phone manufacturer or the carrier. ZSIM doesn’t interfere with the normal cellular functions provided by the original SIM. It uses a process called stealth technology injection to route around the carrier locked functions. These SIMs are generally categorized as security risks as they can potentially disrupt the monopoly of cellular services providers.
In order to use ZSIM, one doesn’t need any permission from the phone manufacturers or service providers. ZSIM by BitSIM opens up a completely new avenue for Bitcoin adoption by creating a mainstream bitcoin economy in developing countries.
With ZSIM, people will be able to transact directly with Bitcoin itself without having to go through the trouble of exchanging it to fiat currency