Understanding bitcoin and cryptocurrency in the kenyan context
The Nairobi-based fintech company launched the ATM recently in the Westlands area, three kilometres from the central business district. Zimbabwe and Djibouti each have one. A growing number of Kenyans are turning to cryptocurrencies as an investment avenue, with the hope of making huge gains, despite warnings from financial regulators and experts.
In order to buy the digital currency, a trader must first set up an account — with a trusted bitcoin trading platform — by providing two names, an e-mail address and a password. It comes with an inbuilt bitcoin wallet through which the digital currency will be stored. One could also download a wallet from any mobile application store. The wallet contains your bitcoin address, a long string of numbers that act as the account number, and a QR code which is scanned by the ATM to identify the account.
Understanding bitcoin and cryptocurrency in the kenyan context can also use them to buy goods or pay for services," said Ms Kariuki. However, an analysis of the exchange rates against other online exchanges by The EastAfrican revealed that the ATM rates were slightly higher than market rates.
BitClub, which earns a commission from every transaction at the ATM, says it is in talks with telecoms giant Safaricom to include its mobile money services platform M-Pesa, as a payment option. The company hopes this will grow the number of Kenyans dealing in cryptocurrencies by eliminating the risks associated with trading online. According to experts, the installation of the ATM which still understanding bitcoin and cryptocurrency in the kenyan context people every day, reflects the growing interest in cryptocurrencies especially among young people in Kenya and around the continent.
A few years back we approached mobile money with the same caution we have for cryptocurrency. However, as cryptocurrency understanding bitcoin and cryptocurrency in the kenyan context push for its mainstream adoption, regulators around the world warn that the digital currencies are too volatile to be used as a store of value, and that the lack of sufficient technology to regulate means they can become a window for mass financial fraud. We are not anti-innovation, we are not anti-cryptocurrency.
We support innovation but are concerned about the impact on financial instability and the inherent risks," Central Bank of Kenya Governor Patrick Njoroge told The EastAfrican in a recent interview. Users need to make sure that they have second layer security to safeguard against hackers and do background checks on the people they transact with. A growing number of Kenyans are turning to cryptocurrencies as an investment avenue, with the hope of making huge gains, despite warnings from financial regulators.
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