How to Buy/ Sell Bitcoin in Kenya: A Complete Guide
Bitcoin is a digital currency that has been gaining traction in Kenya. It can be used to purchase goods and services, as well as to invest. Bitcoin's popularity is due to its decentralized nature - it does not rely on banks or governments for transactions which makes it easier to use without the risk of fraud or theft. The following blog post will provide you with information about how to buy/ sell bitcoin in Kenya and some considerations before getting started.
Section 1: Introduction
Bitcoin is a digital currency based on blockchain technology. It is unique from traditional payment systems as it is created through a process known as mining. This process is carried out by bitcoin miners who use their personal computers to solve cryptographic problems. The computer is rewarded with bitcoins once the solution is found. Bitcoin is mined in the form of Bitcoins. You can think of Bitcoins as digital gold because they are used to purchase goods and services online or in stores. Bitcoins can also be used to invest or store wealth in Bitcoins or other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash, Monero or Ripple.
Two Bitcoins will equal one Pound Sterling. However, to buy or sell Bitcoins you will first need to download a wallet.
What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency that has been gaining traction in Kenya. There is currently no regulation or regulation of cryptocurrency or its associated apps, coins, wallets, or related entities. Bitcoin operates on a peer-to-peer network with no central authority or governments required to process transactions.
There is currently no centralized exchange that allows people to buy or sell bitcoin on the African continent. Rather, there are Bitcoin exchanges (known as Bitcoin markets) around the world that can be used to buy and sell bitcoin.
Bitcoin is best described as an online peer-to-peer financial network that allows people to send and receive payments digitally without the need for a third party.
Why Invest in Bitcoin?
Kenya’s young, tech-savvy population is warming up to Bitcoin because it is a digital currency. Bitcoin is powered by cryptography and is not controlled by any third parties. Bitcoins can be acquired through purchasing online at online exchanges like Kenya's own Juiced.io. Alternatively, you can mine them yourself.
If you are a crypto investor, you need to keep in mind that buying bitcoin is risky. The value of Bitcoin fluctuates often and usually spikes and drops when it’s the doomsday scenario of Bitcoin being completely banned.
The beauty of Bitcoin is that you can only spend or exchange Bitcoins at its source - online. Kenya’s exchanges are safe and have a low fee. The buyer and seller each pay a transaction fee, which is usually around Ksh 500.
How to Buy/Sell Bitcoin in Kenya
Buying Bitcoin in Kenya is easy and convenient. The only difference is that it will cost you more. Kenyan people who use online payment options (like M-Pesa, with a mobile phone) to buy bitcoin have a tendency to buy low and sell high, which means that the difference in buying and selling price will be relatively low. This allows users to be more confident in the pricing.
Many people have tried to buy bitcoins in Kenya, and have failed. As you have probably already guessed, it is due to the prohibitive cost of buying the digital currency and then selling it after some time has passed. By the time you have made a deposit into a Kenyan bank account, it could be 6-7 business days before the transaction is approved.
Buying and Selling Bitcoins Online
Kenya is one of the most popular trading partners of South Africa which is the top destination for Bitcoin, with more than 45% of the bitcoin trade in Africa. Kenyans also trade with the rest of Africa, including Uganda, Rwanda and Mozambique, among others. However, there are many websites that have made it easier for you to purchase Bitcoin through an online exchange. Just search for Bitcoin exchange and you will be directed to the right websites.
Find Your Exchange
You can use a variety of exchanges to purchase bitcoins, depending on your requirements. Some exchanges provide coin and token exchange, such as Bitfloor and BitMEX. Other exchanges that provide exchange of fiat currencies such as USD and GBP, such as Bittrex.
Buying and Selling Bitcoins Offline
The first step is to find sellers with whom you can do transactions. This could be done online or offline, depending on your preference. For example, you may choose to meet a person at a location and travel there to complete a purchase.
Online is usually the most convenient option, however, it requires careful planning and patience since there is no guarantee that you will receive your bitcoins. Most likely you will be required to send money to an escrow account, which you will receive only when you complete your purchase. The process is tedious and may require access to your bank account.
Depending on your geographical location, it may be more challenging to buy bitcoins. Most sellers are located in Kenya, the UK, Canada, United States, Australia, Malaysia and Japan.
Considerations before getting started
Bitcoin is not legal tender in Kenya - even though people often refer to bitcoin as a virtual currency, it does not technically meet this definition. It can be used to purchase goods and services, but as stated earlier, it is not widely used as currency. You can legally use bitcoin to buy goods and services in Kenya without the risk of being taxed.
Transactions cannot be traced back to you or the recipient - if you get paid in bitcoin, it cannot be traced to your bank account, meaning that any money you send to someone else will never be returned to you or to your bank. This is similar to cash or other debit and credit cards. Transactions are therefore relatively anonymous, as your identity will not be tied to any transaction.