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New Bitcoin Wallet For Offline Phones

The wallet uses the USSD service (similar to SMS) to send and receive bitcoins on-chain and Lightning on inexpensive basic service phones.

In Short

  • The Machankura wallet is available in 9 countries for now.
  • You can generate a personalized Lightning payment bill with a username.
  • Zeus wallet now supports unified QR codes for on-chain and LN payments.


Machankura, a wallet for the African market, aims for Bitcoin without the internet. It allows its users to send and receive bitcoins (BTC) via on-chain or Lightning without needing an internet connection. The technology behind the wallet uses Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD). This system is a variation of the well-known SMS messaging service, which does not require an Internet connection.

Currently, the wallet is only operational in nine African countries (Nigeria, Tanzania, South Africa, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Zambia, Uganda, and Ghana). Users must register by dialing the code of their territory. In the case of Nigeria, for example, they must dial *347*8333# to start the wallet and follow the on-screen guide.

As explained by Kgothatso Ngako, Machankura’s creator, the company’s goal is to expand into 54 countries on the African continent, with its next goal being to raise capital for this expansion. For the moment, it has been self-funded. To receive funds in the wallet, users generate easy-to-remember personalized addresses using their name or phone number to maintain a simple user experience. An example of this would be “[email protected]“.


A wallet for offline cell phones

Machankura is a custodial wallet. Although it allows sending and receiving BTC without a direct internet connection, the company runs the respective Bitcoin and Lightning nodes for sending, receiving, and managing funds, being these -and not the end user- the owners of the private keys of each bitcoin received. It also has an operating cost of 1% of each transaction sent.

Machankura is one of many wallets to use this type of service. In the past other similar services have also developed this type of tool. Even Samourai Wallet created a pilot with this type of service for sending BTC via SMS.


Zeus Wallet’s new version

The Zeus Bitcoin wallet development team presented the new version of the application, 0.7.0. In addition to bringing changes to the user experience and the wallet interface, it adds features that will improve privacy and usability when using the wallet.

One of the main new features of this version of Zeus is the ability to connect to Lightning Node Connect, a protocol for connecting to a Lightning Network node more securely. For those who use a Tor connection, the performance improvement will be “huge,” said Zeus developers.

Another new feature is the addition of aliases in Lightning Network. This functionality improves privacy when operating with this network of payment channels, removing the tie that links channel IDs to an on-chain UTXO (unspent transaction), a link that would allow others to learn more about transactions from a given address.

On the other hand, the wallet will also support unified QR codes, allowing both on-chain and Lightning Network payments to be received. The QR codes reduce the likelihood of a user, especially a novice, needing clarification on one type of transaction and the other. Bitcoin wallet Muun also added this feature a few days ago.

It also supports BTCPay’s LN Bank feature, which allows creating multiple Lightning Network wallets and linking them to various BTCPay Stores. In addition, the update includes changes to the app’s home screen without the balance displayed on login, five themes to customize the interface, and a streamlined workflow when using the app, as shown in the video below.

Zeus is a Bitcoin and Lightning wallet created by a team of developers led by Evan Kaloudis in 2020. You need to connect it to a node belonging to these networks to use it.



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