Bitrefill has lowered its prices for refills in Venezuela to subsidize mobile phone top-ups, and begun integrating Dash Text, to help in the face of nationwide blackouts.
Bitrefill offers a variety of vouchers and gift cards, as well as mobile phone top-ups, for cryptocurrency. During recent power and internet blackouts in Venezuela, the company noticed a sharp uptick in purchases from that country from customers using cryptocurrency to refill their mobile phone credit, as cellular service has remained operational during the blackouts. In a recent post, Bitrefill outlined a pricing reduction to help alleviate the situation:
“Our team held a meeting to see if there were any ways we could help. We reviewed tweets from Venezuelans teaching each other how to get reconnected using top-ups from Bitrefill.com. We also saw some concern about the pricing of our Venezuelan telecom products.
We don’t have a direct connection in Venezuela and thus we pay a premium above the face value to acquire refills there. We were already selling these products at cost, but we decided to subsidize these products and reduce the selling price to face value, so until further notice, refills in Venezuela will be priced at face value according to the LocalBitcoins.com BTCVES rate.”
Bitrefill currently supports payments in a variety of cryptocurrencies, including Dash, with instant voucher delivery with InstantSend transactions. Additionally, a 10% temporary discount is offered when paying with Dash.
Today we start refilling Venezuelan phones for free! we have enough to do 100 refills, if you want to contribute to help more Venezuelans communicate during the blackout, you can contribute here, each refill is about 1$ USD, we hope to get to 1000 refills. Let’s go! pic.twitter.com/cSdbHRPmD8
— Dash Text (@dash_text) March 13, 2019
Dash Text collaboration to enable offline refill purchases, fund free refills by donations
Additionally, Bitrefill confirmed to be in the process of working with SMS wallet provider Dash Text to integrate into the platform, allowing for the purchase of mobile top-ups via simple text message rather than requiring an internet connection:
“We’re also assisting a Dash Text project trying to make it possible to order via SMS, enabling people without smartphones to top up with our vouchers. Dash is also offering a 10% discount at Bitrefill.com when users pay with Dash.”
To further help Venezuelans struggling with financial and infrastructural issues surrounding the blackouts, Dash Text has launched a donation campaign to subsidize the refills of customers unable to afford them. Dash Text posted a Dash donation address with the hopes or raising enough funding to gift 1,000 free refills.
Offline solutions increasingly important
As power and internet connectivity conditions in some parts of the world become less than ideal, offline solutions for cryptocurrency become increasingly valuable. During recent Venezuelan blackouts causing power to be shut down around the country, cryptocurrency transactions were not able to be performed traditionally. However, Dash Text was still operational, with transactions able to take place due to cellular networks still remaining intact. Because of this, Dash is one of the few payment networks operable in the country during a loss of power.