Insights on Bitcoin in Kenya

Insights on Bitcoin in Kenya

In as much as Bitcoin is still gaining popularity in the country, the larger population still feels skeptical about the issue or probably do not know how to go about it. There is always an air of mystery surrounding Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies holding back Kenyans from “scooping the opportunity.”

What we are sure of by now is that cryptos are not a fad anymore, thirteen years after they emerged. With time things are becoming more apparent, and probably more Kenyans will soon venture into the cryptocurrency world. Some years ago, it was tough because people did not know how to buy Bitcoin in Kenya.

However, today you can exchange, buy, hold, trade, and store Bitcoin as long as you abide by the existing rules in Kenya.

Government on Cryptocurrency

Financial regulators and Kenya’s government have been sluggish on the acceptance of Bitcoin and other digital coins. In 2018 the central bank pondered over the regulatory guidelines while the Capital Markets Authority warned Kenyans of trading crypto due to an ICO known as kenicoin.

It was a project that sold 10 million tokens while promising 10 percent monthly returns. The financial watchdogs have cautioned Kenyans against trading and investing in Bitcoin, but their efforts seem futile. More and more Kenyans are researching diverse methods of how to invest bitcoin in Kenya.

Generally, there is a steady trend of rising trade volumes for cryptocurrency.

Trading Bitcoin in Kenya

Kenyans have a wide variety of companies to choose from when they want to purchase or sell bitcoin. Popular trading platforms in the country include Localbitcoins, Paxful, Remitano, Bitpesa, Belfrics, and Coindirect. Localbitcoins transaction volumes have always been high and it seems to be the dominant company. Over the last year (2019), almost 1.6 million bitcoins were traded on the platform.

That shows how much Kenyans are interested in Bitcoin investments. Paxful trade volumes also clock high values as in two weeks, you will likely see close to $50,000 traded on the peer-to-peer exchange.

Getting Started with Bitcoin

Bitcoin is not as complicated as some people may think. All you need is a blockchain wallet where you will send, receive, and store digital assets. There is a wide variety of options to secure a wallet. That could be online or through an apple store.

Download the app and then install it. Ensure you secure the wallet as the second step. You do not want to be locked out of your account once you lose or forget your password. Ignoring the safety precautions can mess you up big time as you will be vulnerable to sophisticated attacks.

Make sure your password comprises of 12 characters and have a back up to help you recover the account in case of anything. Find yourself some bitcoins and load them into your account. There are two main options if you are looking for ways to buy bitcoin in Kenya. You either buy from the Blockchain Association of Kenya members or check-in at the peer-to-peer marketplace.

That is where you will exchange digital assets for regular money. How you settle the transaction will depend on how you agree with the broker, whether to use cash, mobile money, bank, or airtime.

Typically, the broker will ask for your bitcoin address, which will enable them to deposit bitcoin to your wallet. Transact with only legit and trusted brokers that have a stellar reputation. Scams and fraud are a huge challenge in the crypto industry that you want to look out for.

What you should know before investing in bitcoins

  • Bitcoins are scarce

Just like how gold is scarce on the planet, bitcoins are also limited in number. Only 21 million bitcoins will be mined, and after that, no more mining will take place. As time goes by, it becomes even harder to mine the remaining bitcoins as only 18.5 million have been mined.

  • Bitcoin is useful

Bitcoin is quite useful despite being scarce. It provides a predictable and sound monetary policy verifiable by anyone. Bitcoin’s monetary policy is crucial and quite transparent. When a transaction is happening you will be aware, you will see when new bitcoins are produced and even how many are circulating.

Bitcoins can be sent to or from anywhere in the world. The coin is censorship resistant, meaning no bank can block the transactions. Cross border payments are also possible with bitcoins.

  • Bitcoin’s Price

Bitcoin does not have an official standard price. Its price is set by what people want to pay for the digital asset. Usually, bitcoin’s price is shown as the price of one bitcoin. Exchanges will, however, let you secure any amount you wish to purchase. You are allowed to buy even less than a bitcoin.

When is the right time to purchase bitcoins?

Just like any other market, nothing is ever for sure. Your guess could be as good as anyone’s in terms of when to purchase. Throughout the bitcoin’s history, the price has been steadily rising, and then a downfall follows. After some time, the price stabilizes then goes up again.

Bitcoin is a global asset, which means it cannot be affected by a particular country’s financial stability. Only global scale chaos may affect bitcoin’s price and not the occurrences in one state. You just have to look out for the upward trend and hop on to the bus.

How to invest in bitcoin in Kenya

1. Become a digital asset trader and broker

You can always invest in bitcoin by becoming a broker or an agent. With this type of investment, you can work from anywhere, whether at home or the gym, just like insurance brokers. Bitcoin is a commodity just like any other, only that it is digital, making it even easier to work with. You do not require any storage facilities for digital assets. What you need are clients, a good reputation, and your smartphone or computer.

2. Sit and hold

This works like the stock exchange market where you purchase assets and hold on to them until the prices hike. So, the deal is to buy low and sell high when prices go up. Cryptos such as bitcoin is gaining more and more attention in mainstream media, and many Kenyans are looking for ways to make money with bitcoin. And not just in Kenya so you can expect the prices to keep rising.

Bottom Line

In as much as some people remain skeptical, bitcoin seems like it is here to stay. So, if you are looking for ways to buy bitcoin in Kenya, check out sites such as Localbitcoins and Paxful and grab yourself some cryptocurrency.  

Geoffrey Nevine — IT Services and IT Consulting

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