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Blockchain Revolutionizes Monitoring of Africa’s Boda Boda Taxis

Nodle’s blockchain technology will facilitate the real-time tracking of motorcycle taxis in East Africa, with funding provided by Watu.

Boda bodas are an integral part of everyday life in East Africa, particularly in vibrant cities such as Nairobi, Kampala, and Dar es Salaam, where they serve as a swift means of navigating through traffic. For countless Africans, these motorbike taxis are not just a primary transportation option but also a crucial source of livelihood. The industry is on the brink of a revolutionary change, as blockchain technology is soon to be implemented for real-time tracking of vehicles, financed by asset financing company Watu.

Watu has announced a new partnership with Nodle’s blockchain-powered decentralized physical infrastructure network (DePIN), as reported by Cointelegraph. This collaboration is set to enhance the tracking of motorcycles financed by Watu. Having provided loans to over one million Africans across seven countries, Watu enables individuals to acquire motorcycles and offer taxi services. Nodle’s DePIN infrastructure will facilitate real-time location data for these vehicles, serving both to safeguard owners against theft and to improve Watu’s oversight of its financed assets.

The Watu asset location system is set to launch in Uganda in May 2024, with plans to extend its reach to Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the subsequent months. This system will be integrated with the Nodle Network, a decentralized mobile network that utilizes users’ smartphones as network nodes in a secure DePIN. Leveraging the widespread presence of smartphones and their advanced geolocation features, Nodle’s DePIN is designed to offer extensive coverage and accurate tracking.

Micha Benoliel, co-founder and CEO of Nodle, expressed that the collaboration with Watu will significantly enhance the rollout of their network across Africa. He noted that by 2030, smartphones are expected to make up 88% of mobile connections, a substantial increase from the current 50%.

Gunars Bidins, Watu’s head of GPS tracking, highlighted the benefits of the partnership for asset management:

“Through this partnership, we can more efficiently and cost-effectively monitor our asset fleet, thereby increasing the safety and security of our assets throughout our growing operations in Africa.”

Nodle’s Chief Product Officer, Florent Stroppa, highlights the potential impact of DePIN technology on both economies and society, as evidenced by their collaboration with Watu. He explained that this crowdsourced network facilitates the rapid and cost-effective deployment of new services:

“In this specific case, the technology is utilized to locate assets that are typically hard to track. We are thrilled about our partnership with Watu for this initiative.”

DePINs are quickly gaining traction within the blockchain sector. This technology is employed to obtain cloud computing resources via initiatives like io.net, among various other practical applications that were recently discussed on the Decentralize podcast episode by Cointelegraph.

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