While countries like South Africa are already deep in the world of cryptocurrency, Kenya has been showing subtle interest in the same. This may mainly be due to the air of mystery that still surrounds blockchain leaving Kenyans very cautious in throwing money away at something they don’t clearly understand. It is twelve years now since Bitcoin launched in 2007 and it’s quite clear that the crypto world is not a passing phase.
It’s here to stay and as many like to describe it “the money of the future”. And while we may agree that Bitcoin among other cryptocurrencies has its own share of downsides, it is about time you knew what it is about if your interest grows.
Joining the crypto world does not need anyone’s consent. It’s just as you download an app on a smartphone and connect to the world without asking for permission. In Kenya today, you can buy, trade, exchange, hold and store cryptocurrencies as long as you do not break any existing laws.
First up, every cryptocurrency including Bitcoin has what we call a blockchain wallet. This is an app that lets you store, send, and receive digital assets. There are dozens of options to choose from: online, on Android and Apple stores for example blockchain, mycelium and coinomi.
After installation, you have to secure your wallet against potential hacks in case you ever forget your password or lose your phone. After all, this is something born out of the internet and for the internet. Add a strong pin and back up your 12-word phrase to help you recover your bitcoin in the worst of scenarios.
Getting Bitcoin in Kenya for your wallet is not an easy task though. There aren’t many services that deal in it but that doesn’t mean you cannot fall prey to some con artists. You have two options when considering where to buy or sell bitcoin for Kenyans shillings.
One is the Blockchain Association of Kenya who brokers bitcoin and digital assets locally. The other choice would be an online peer-to-peer marketplace where you can exchange regular money for digital assets. Luckily, there are legit sites like localbitcoins.com that connect buyers and sellers locally and internationally.
Choosing the right broker will now be totally your ball game. Normally, brokers will ask you for your bitcoin address – a long hexadecimal string that lets other people deposit bitcoins into your wallet. To receive bitcoins, go to your wallet, click on receive and copy a string that looks like this 1P1jyUGjQpnZ5daExhvccWPcdZ2AVCviTW; this is your bitcoin wallet address.
As recommended by BAK, be careful to choose only trusted brokers with a clean stellar reputation. Investing in blockchain is not as easy as it is infested with frauds and scams.
Make Online and cross border payments
Well, you could send them to a friend or family member wherever they are in the world as a gift or remittance. Bitcoin works as a payment network, so anyone can instantly make online payments and send or receive money from abroad.
This includes betting on sites that accept cryptocurrency or even buying stuff from shops that accept them.
Start Trading Digitally
Alternatively, you can always settle for becoming a digital asset dealer, broker or agent. From the comfort of your home or workplace or while roaming, you can trade like insurance brokers or the exhibition traders of Nairobi or the maize truckers of Eldoret. Cryptocurrencies are just like commodities – only that they are digital commodities so and easier to trade.
Wait And See
Your last option, of course, would be to just hold on to your assets and wait for the value fluctuations. In this world, we can actually guarantee you that this happens a lot. Hopefully, the prices go in your favour and rise. At that instance, you can then immediately look for buyers and sell them for the standing price which means you get profits compared to the amount you spent buying yours.
Cryptocurrency has grown so fast to the point of posing a real threat to the global banking system. And with other brands like Libra from Facebook still in the plans, why not start early?