Cryptocurrency is virtual or digital money secured by cryptography. That means this currency is quite difficult to double-spend or counterfeit. Cryptocurrencies are based on a blockchain technology and have decentralized networks. The defining feature with cryptocurrencies is that they are not issued by any specific central authority. That means cryptocurrencies cannot be manipulated by any government.
The word ‘Cryptocurrency’ came from the encryption techniques that are used to keep this network secure. Since its initiation, cryptocurrency has been spreading to all corners of the world like bushfire. More and more people seem to embrace the technology including prominent people in the world. Today, several companies create their own currencies and issue them as tokens. Understand that there are lots of cryptocurrencies traded publicly. They could possibly be over 10,000 distinct currencies. However, there are some few favorites that are popular such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash etc.
Kenyans also seem to hop on to the bandwagon and sail in the world of cryptos. Currently, cryptos are used to trade or buy services and goods in the country. Most Kenyans are aware of these popular currencies and are looking for ways they can make money using the same. As of July 2021, the total cryptocurrencies value was over $1.4 trillion meaning it is a huge market.
Investing Cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin in Kenya
Several years since cryptocurrencies emerged, they can no longer be referred to as a bubble or passing cloud. In Kenya, you can now exchange, trade, store and buy cryptocurrencies while upholding the existing laws. For the beginners, you first need a blockchain wallet to transact crypto. It is the software that allows you to send, receive and store your digital assets. There are lots of apps you can choose from on the internet such as coinomi, blockchain and mycelium.
After installation, you can now secure the wallet on how to retrieve it in case you lose your phone or forget the password. Make sure you set up the back up as some people have been hacked several thousands if not millions worth or digital assets because of this mistake. Use a strong password or pin and then set a phrase that should enable you recover the wallet if things go south.
You now need to put some assets in the wallet. Buying Bitcoins in Kenya is not hard as there are some platforms where you can purchase them. Even though there are not many avenues where you can buy bitcoin, the two available channels are quite reliable. You can buy bitcoin from Blockchain Association of Kenya members. These members broker digital assets locally.
The second option is heading over to the online marketplace. This is a peer-to-peer market for digital assets known as Localbitcoins.com. It connects sellers and buyers locally. Here you will settle with the seller on which platform to transact on – whether bank, mobile money or cash. The broker will require your bitcoin address where they will send you the bitcoin. A bitcoin address is a long string of numerals and letters that allows someone else deposit bitcoin to your account. Think of it like a mailbox where you receive your deliveries. So, it is unique to your wallet only.
The wallet address could be something like 1PuHJieRvFHGjvnsiVYrau45tvNMsK. It is recommendable to transact with only the reputable brokers to avoid getting conned. Scams are prominent when investing and trading bitcoin which is why you have to be careful. Now that there are some digital assets in your wallet, what do you do with them?
What to Do with Bitcoin in Kenya?
Make cross border payments
You could send some of the digital assets to family members or friends in oversees country as remittance or gift. Bitcoin is now accepted in several countries all over the world as a means of payment. Many car dealers in Kenya purchase Japanese cars using bitcoin. You can also make online payments in Kenya to some sites that accept bitcoin as payment.
Sit and hold
You could decide to hold the digital assets in your wallet and hope that their value appreciates. Cryptocurrency is attracting both institutional and retail investors. Most institutions that dismissed bitcoin and cryptocurrency in the early years are rethinking their stand on cryptocurrencies so most possibly their value will appreciate.
Become a digital trader and broker
One can become a digital asset agent, broker or dealer. You can trade bitcoin from your workplace or the comfort of your couch just like the exhibition traders or insurance brokers. The good thing with crypto is that these are digital assets so you don’t need a physical store or warehouse to store them. What you need is internet connection, smartphone or laptop, a reputation and clients.
Cryptocurrency Trading in Kenya
As stated earlier, cryptocurrency has grown so much in the country that people are using different online platforms to make payments using crypto. Cryptocurrency trading has also been on the rise. Kenyans have a wide range of options to choose from any time they want to trade cryptocurrency. Below are some of the best exchanges Kenyans can trade cryptocurrency:
Localbitcoins.com is among the most trusted and legit avenues where you can buy and sell bitcoins and other digital assets in Kenya. Here you can transact via peer-to-peer connections from trusted sellers. Traders on this platform have different rates so you can go through different sellers to see who has favorable rates. Also take caution when transacting on this site to avoid getting scammed.
It is a peer-to-peer trading network founded in 2015. This bitcoin trading network facilitates sellers and buyers directly by having exchange offers on the platform. Paxful has been on the rise in the country and the firm enjoys over 20,000 trades more than any other cryptocurrency network that offers peer-to-peer services daily. With this platform there is an escrow feature that protects users from getting scammed meaning it is a reliable platform to trade your bitcoin and other coins. The platform also accepts several payment modes such as MoneyGram, PayPal, Amazon gift cards among other platforms.
The company first joined the cryptocurrency world as a cloud mining service and Bitcoin trading center in 2013. Since then Cex.io has transformed to a multi-functional network with more than 500,000 users.
The cryptocurrency exchange is widely recognized all over the world by millions of customers. Cex.io enables the customers to purchase bitcoin using debit or credit cards in a safe and simple manner. Payment methods available on this platform include ACH, SEPA, SWIFT and Faster Payments. The platform has a very reliable customer service. Cex.io has extensive trading tools for Ethereum, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Tron, Litecoin, Stellar, Ripple among other crypto coins.
It is an exchange service operated from anywhere all around the world. The platform has a user-friendly trading interface and a support team that is highly reachable. Kenyans use this platform to trade cryptocurrency including Bitcoin and Ethereum. Changelly has a real-time platform where you can see the prices of different assets in real-time. Payments are quick on this platform and it has a bright user interface that allows users to easily interact with.
Enrollment to this platform is fast and its conversion system is incorporated to some popular crypto exchanges such as Bittrex, Poloniex and Binance. With this platform you will have high exchange limits and low fees.
It is a peer-to-peer exchange platform where Kenyan users can swap bitcoins for other assets, purchase and sell cryptocurrency. If you want to remain anonymous and get protected as a dealer then this is the platform for you. Bitsquare is an accessible project meaning it is supported by social fundraising and individual contributions. If you feel like volunteering, you can also become a Bitsquare shareholder.
Kraken is one of the most significant cryptocurrency trading networks worldwide. This platform raised $100 million from its most significant supplier in an offering in 2019 that was valued at $4 billion. The platform provides smartphone applications and has a flexible ordering platform. Kenyans also have a wide range of cryptocurrency to choose from. Both beginners and experienced traders can use this platform to trade cryptocurrency and get some profit.
Kraken is among the safest and most reliable trading platforms Kenyans are using to trade cryptocurrency. It offers capital in currencies including EUR, CHF, USD, JPY, GBP and CAD.
Buy Bitcoin in Kenya
Below are the most trusted sources where you can buy bitcoin in Kenya. Most of them will allow you to make the purchase using mobile money which is Mpesa:
All these are reputable sites and are legit. All you have to do is go to their websites and you will find prompts on how to purchase bitcoins. They have easy and navigable user-interfaces that will not give you a hard time.