Sending cryptocurrency is easier than ever. And why shouldn’t it be? One of the keys to mass cryptocurrency adoption is making cryptocurrency as easy to use as fiat currency, after all.
And what better way, then, to send cryptocurrency than by SMS? Here are a few excellent services that let you send cryptocurrency using nothing more than an SMS text message. just that.
Coinapult is a cryptocurrency software wallet that lets you send bitcoin via SMS, as well as other standard bitcoin transfer methods.
The addition of SMS to Coinapult transactions means you can “transact world-wide, with or without internet.”
The interface is easy to use, too. You issue commands direct using SMS. If the recipient doesn’t have a Coinapult account, one is automatically created. The recipient receives an SMS informing them that their bitcoin is safe along with instructions of how to use the service to extract their coins.
How to Use Coinapult
Head to Coinapult, create a new account, including the mobile number you want to use for SMS bitcoin transactions. The SMS service is available through the Coinapult web and SMS interfaces.
Verify your email address. Once verified, you head to your Coinapult Addresses page and scroll down to the bottom. At the bottom, you can select Add Phone Number. Add your phone number, including international code. Coinapult will send you a verification code that you must enter in the Settings panel.
Once verified, you can either send directly to another phone number using the Coinapult site or using Coinapult mobile commands.
A full list of Coinapult SMS commands is found here.
Next up is CoinText. CoinText is a crypto-by-SMS tool that lets you send Bitcoin Cash. One of the best bits about CoinText is that you don’t need to go online to use the service, instead relying completely on SMS to create your account, send and receive funds, and check your current Bitcoin Cash CoinText balance.
CoinText is extremely easy to use. Account creation is instantaneous, and CoinText delivers help messages and command instructions direct your SMS inbox.
Although Bitcoin Cash saw a significant amount of turbulence throughout the latter months of 2018, the Bitcoin-alternative is continuing to stabilize. The post-Bitcoin Cash hard-fork era is well underway.
How to Use CoinText
First up, check CoinText availability in your country.
Find the number for your country. Text START to your region access number and wait for the account confirmation SMS. The response is fairly instantaneous, depending on your country. From there, text HELP to get a complete rundown of the CoinText commands.
The commands are basic: BALANCE, SEND $amount, SEND BCHamount, and RECEIVE. But the basic approach makes CoinText extremely easy to use and as such, worth your time.
Lite.im is a newly minted crypto-project allowing users to send Litecoin, Ethereum, and Zulu Republic Tokens (ZTX) via SMS—if you live in the US.
The whole Lite.im backend is available on Github for verification, which is another plus point. An incoming update will add support for Bitcoin, too, as well as more languages. Furthermore, you can use Lite.im via Facebook Messenger, Telegram, Zalo, and of course, SMS.
How to Use Lite.im
Lite.im has an interactive sign-up process involving a chatbot on their homepage. The chatbot elaborates on the Lite.im use case, throws some nice facts at you and asks some basic questions. It then asks for your phone number to set the Lite.im service up.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t set up the SMS service as I am outside the US, but those users within the US will be offered the choice of using their SMS app to send and receive cryptocurrencies. (My screenshots are from the Telegram app.)
Crypterium is a cryptocurrency mobile hub. The app, headed up by former Visa UK CEO Mark O’Brien, is a massive step in building easy to use bridges between the fiat and crypto worlds. Crypterium takes aim at the oft-poorly designed apps and experiences that once plagued the crypto-world and were a serious wall to mass uptake.
How to Use Crypterium
Crypterium is available for both Android and iOS. Download the app to your smartphone and boot it up. You can verify your identity if you want, but this only required to send transactions over $10,000 or to use the in-app exchanges.
If these features are important, by all means, take the time to complete the verification process. In my experience, it can be a little finickity with images from your respective document, so be sure to take extremely clear images at the correct angle.
Once you are in the app, select Send Crypto, then swipe to find Send Crypto by Phone. Enter the amount of bitcoin you want to send, the phone number (including the recipient international code), and press Next, then follow the on-screen instructions.
More Crypto SMS Apps Coming Soon
These three apps represent the best current market options for sending cryptocurrency via SMS. Other options are coming to the crypto-SMS market soon.
- Samourai’s Pony Direct: Developers Samourai, developers of the Samourai Wallet, is currently “exploring alternative means of transaction broadcasting to enhance censorship resistance.” What does that mean? Well, it means they have a proof-of-concept Android app called Pony Direct. The Pony Direct bitcoin-via-SMS app functionality is also included in Samourai’s other proof-of-concept Android app, txTenna. You can build both of these apps to try the system out for yourself. Follow the GitHub instructions on the respective pages to do so.
- Symetria [URL no longer available]: The as-yet-unreleased Symetria wallet will feature crypto-via-SMS transactions, as well as being the “first cryptocurrency wallet and exchange service built using Personal Blockchains.”
- Dash Text: Although this service is already up and running in Venezuela, there is no indication if Dash Text will see service in the US or other countries around the globe.
- XRP Text: XRP Text allows you send XRP, the token of the Ripple network, using an SMS. XRP Text works very similarly to CoinText but exclusively for XRP. In that, XRP Text uses similar command terminology, as well as a similar SMS interface. It is a promising project that is currently in public beta.
Furthermore, some apps and services have done away with crypto-via-SMS services, most notably the Blockchain app.
Another option to make sending and receiving crypto easier is with Unstoppable Domains. Unstoppable Domains give you a single address rather than an alphanumeric string, cutting down on mistakes and making it simple for anyone to use cryptocurrency.
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