Bitcoin Ecosystem Flourishes In Kenya Despite Regulatory Constraints Around Crypto Assets
Many countries who have banned cryptocurrencies have seen the rise of the adoption. This shows that Bitcoin can be a perfect instrument to work your way around the stranglehold of governments and establishment financial noose. The African country of Kenya is a perfect example of this narrative.
Despite warnings from Kenya's central bank about the volatility of crypto-currencies, some businesses in Nairobi are now accepting Bitcoin payments. The total number of Bitcoin transactions in Kenya is estimated to be worth over $1.5m, according to the Blockchain Association of Kenya.
Africa, in general, is the perfect breeding ground for the crypto ecosystem. There are numerous under-banked people who live under authoritative regimes. Also, any established financial institutions still haven’t penetrated deep into the fabric of African society. With the booming technological revolution in the continent, even the adoption of Bitcoin can piggyback.
The Blockchain Association of Kenya (BAK) is actively working to educate the country on the benefits of using crypto-currencies and blockchain. The non-profit body says that using virtual currencies can greatly reduce the cost of transactions, and enable people without bank accounts to quickly make and receive payments.
Bitcoin transfers through WhatsApp are also rapidly expanding in the country. David Gitonga, a cryptocurrency writer in Nairobi explains that despite the fact that the Central Bank of Kenya attacked virtual currencies, users continue to be involved in the market. He said:
“The peer-to-peer market in Kenya is pretty huge. Whatsapp is mostly the preferred form of trading due to ease of communication and speed. The community already has a recognized list of traders that offer the services. Anyone looking to buy or sell crypto is likely going to go through these traders. For large transactions, most sellers and buyers meet face-to-face once they’ve been introduced to each other on Whatsapp.”
Investors and other important players observing the crypto market in Africa are now looking at Kenya. Sungroowmall, a decentralized online store is looking to expand into Kenya. It is the first largest decentralized web 3.0 cryptocurrency marketplace in Africa and globally. The platform allows users to buy and sell items using cryptocurrency. The platform has been functional in Nigeria collecting a large number of users and is now looking at the Kenya.