Cryptocurrency is at one of its highest values ever and it looks like the growing popularity has gotten to Kenyans like a bug. This was revealed by a recent report from LocalBitcoins stating that Kenyans now trade about KES 100 million ($920,000) worth of bitcoin on a weekly basis. This is with mobile money services like M-PESA and PesaLink being used the most for trade payments.
This spike was mostly witnessed in 2020 as the site experienced a skyrocket of new sign-ups rising by over 80% compared to 2019. This is about the same period that everyone else around the world started getting interested in the crypto world. So, it does explain how the craze penetrated so fast into the Kenyan world.
As of February 2021, LocalBitcoins had recorded about 17,000 monthly active traders, 70% of whom are under the age of 34. The highest trade volume on the bitcoin trade platform was recorded in the second week of January this year when a total of KES 150 million worth of bitcoin was exchanged.
This stands as a huge milestone not just for the world of crypto but also for Localbitcoins that has been operating for a couple of years now.
“The record trading volume in Kenya was achieved during the second week of January 2021 when as much as KES 150 million worth of bitcoin was traded on our platform, which amounts to $1.3 million,” said Vladislav Alimpiev, the Head of Business Development at LocalBitcoins. “$1.3 million puts Kenya in the top echelon of the countries on LocalBitcoins by trading volume. Only a handful of countries have ever broken that $1 million a week barrier.”
So there is no doubt that digital currencies, particularly bitcoin, has a number of Kenyans investing in blockchain-based tech that is at its highest value ever.
This development also comes at a time when the fiat currency, the Kenyan shilling, is falling at a shocking rate. So, why not have money whose value is doing nothing but rising in value?
You can also have a look at our previous guide article on how to get started in trading bitcoin locally.