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Opinions of Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Columnist: Dzokoto, Divine Sewornu

Virtacoin now used for short messaging service

By Divine Sewornu Dzokoto

Have you ever come to that point at night when you did not have any airtime (credit) to call a friend and relay an important message? You have data on your phone, laptop or computer but you cannot send an email or whatsapp. Your cousin uses a “YAM” or a kind of phone that does not support any social network. You can only use the short message service but you don’t have airtime. All the vendors have closed and are asleep.

You have already borrowed from your network provider and have not yet even paid back so you cannot get another SOS credit. You do not have money in your mobile wallet to help you buy credit. It looks like you may not be able to send that message. Meanwhile, you promised to make sure that particular message gets to Kofi before day-break. You do not want to use the pay-for-me facility because it is late and you do not want to disturb anybody. You just want to leave a simple message on the phone, hoping Kofi would read it when the wakes up. Now, you can send SMS with the virtacoin balance in your online wallet. It is called VTA2SMS.
Across Ghana, VTA2SMS is much cheaper than the ordinary charges from any network provider, more especially when you need to communicate across network. It is also possible to send messages across country and continent but the charges vary. In Ghana, $0.010 (350 vtas) can send a 250 character SMS to any number in Ghana, network independent.
You can set up a free virtacoin online wallet account at and just make sure your password is not less than 8 characters with uppercase, lowercase and one figure included. To get free virtacoins, you need to go to, collect as many free virtacoins as possible.
Why use VTA2SMS?
In the first place, there is no minimum SMS for you send. In other words, there are no limits.
Secondly, there is nothing like the SMS bulk you bought has expired. It is available as long as you have virtacoins in your balance.
The price of VTA2SMS is cheaper than the traditional Short Messaging Service. VTA2SMS is $0.010 per SMS, about GHS 0.04. It is the same price across network. The cheapest SMS in Ghana is $0.013. If you bought 50,000 virtacoins for GHS5.00, you can send 142 SMSs. Notice that traditionally, 142 SMSs would cost you GHS7.10 at GHS0.05 of in some cases GHS 9.90 at GHS0.07. Dear reader, decide which is cheaper.
Like other SMS services, you can send to multiple recipients.

VTA2SMS is good for bulk notification and events announcement.

It is the cheapest way to reach people who are not on Whatsapp, facebook, viber etc. In fact to reach people who use “YAM” phone.

There is easy funding if you Google “buy virtacoins in Ghana”.

Best of all, there is anonymity if you want to surprise a friend.

In the opinion of this writer, VTA2SMS has not come to replace any of the peer-to-peer means of communication, like Whatsapp, facebook, Viber and others. It is a way of offering alternatives, especially to enhance short messaging service with family and friends who do not use Android or iOS featured phones. This is another plus for cryptocurrency.