What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin, also referred to as a cryptocurrency is a type of money that is completely virtual. It’s a medium of exchange or digital currency used to buy products and services over the internet and is accessible all over the world including Kenya.
Due to its’ advanced technology, bitcoin does not rely on any central bank to manage it. It depends on the super secure almost unhackable technology known as the blockchain.
This anti-dependence on institutions such as governments or banks to manage it, is one of the main reasons it has captivated the world and led to its mass adoption leading to it being referred to as digital gold.
Bitcoin reaches all time high in 2021
Why the big jump/rally?
There are quite a number of reasons for the jump but the one that stands out is Tesla buying $1.5 Billion in BTC. Tesla announced that it will accept bitcoin as payment in the near future.
This has led to other companies considering the move to adopt bitcoin and others even going ahead and making the jump.
Advantages of Buying Bitcoin in Kenya
1. Alternative Investment
We all know investment options in Kenya for the ordinary person are quite low almost non-existent. With bitcoin you can start with as low as Ksh.6,000 although it’s advisable to consider higher amounts due to transaction fees.
2. Global Acceptance
Bitcoin is a global currency and not limited to one state or region. This offers a wide variety of advantages such as mass accessibility and trading. For Example $53,511,919,662.43 in bitcoin was traded as of this writing. Yes, that is $53Billion traded in 24hrs.
3. High Growth Potential
Bitcoin is still in its early stages with companies just barely starting to adopt it and the average joe still has never heard of bitcoin, or barely heard of it. Hence, it has a long runway and with the world becoming more technologically adept the more it will be adopted.
With the reasons stated above and the current surge in price, the time to get into bitcoin is now. If you agree, continue reading to learn how you can get yourself this digital gold.
How to Buy Bitcoin in Kenya
Get a Visa Card or MasterCard
If you have a Kenyan bank account either with Equity, Co-op Bank, NIC e.t.c, request for an ATM/debit card and ensure it’s either a visa card or mastercard. Although coinmama accepts cash only in USD or Euros, your account doesn’t have to be a dollar account rather it will be converted automatically.
Once you have your VISA or Mastercard, you’re ready for the next step.
Before diving in to this exciting opportunity, yes, I know you can’t wait. You need to get a bitcoin wallet since coinmama only allows you to buy and sell your bitcoin but does not store them for you once bought.
What is a Wallet?
A digital wallet just like your normal wallet is a piece of software or website where you store, send from or receive to all your bitcoins and other coins.
Coinmama recommends the free and secure wallet service blockchain.info to register your wallet.
Once on the site select “get a free wallet”. Fill in your details and once done a confirmation will be sent to your email.
Congratulations, your wallet is the long chain of letters and numbers under “Your wallet ID”. Please ensure to always copy and paste the ID when transferring coins to avoid errors since they are irreversible.
Once you confirm your email you’ll be redirected to your dashboard where you can now transfer coins. Also, visit the security section and complete the steps there for enhanced safety. For Example, the 2FA system enhances your wallet security by sending a unique code to your mobile phone that you have to confirm every time you login.
It’s also very important to write down the “backup recovery phrase” and store it somewhere safe. Please don’t lose it in case you forget your password this is the ONLY way you can be able to regain access to your wallet otherwise it’s impossible and your coins are as good as gone.
Register at Coinmama
The great thing about coinmama is that registering is easier than opening a bank account or anything similar. Start here, once registered the next and remaining step is to login and “verify your account”. This is a security measure on coinmama’s end to ensure that the transactions carried out on their platform are legitimate and don’t involve fraud such as money laundering or identity theft.
After clicking on “verify your account”, you’ll be redirected to a new page that will request for your personal information. You’ll need to provide identification documents such as national ID/ drivers license/passport.
I used my national ID you’ll need to upload a selfie of you holding your ID and a piece of paper that says “Coinmama” and the day’s date. Make sure that the text on the ID document is also clearly readable in the selfie, and that the picture isn’t blurry otherwise your application will be rejected and you’ll waste time redoing it. If done well, the account activation can take around 30min.
Congratulations on successfully signing up and getting verified on coinmama. Now, let’s exchange that Ksh. for some shiny Bitcoin.
The good thing with bitcoin is you do not have to buy a whole bitcoin which as of this writing is trading at $51,000 a coin. You can buy a fraction of it, on coinmama you can buy a minimum of USD 60.
To buy, log in and click on “Bitcoin” on the menu bar. It will redirect you to a page where you have the option to buy Bitcoin in specific increments or a sliding bar where you can select exactly how much you want and see the value in USD or Euro (the minimum purchase is 60 USD).
Once you select the amount, click “Buy Bitcoins” and they’ll give you an option to pay by card.
Click on it and it will take you to a new screen which says “please insert your Bitcoin wallet address”.
Go Back to Blockchain.info and Copy Your Wallet ID
As earlier described, the long chain of letters and numbers is your unique wallet ID, think of it as your bank account number. Other people or coinmama in this case can use it to identify your wallet and send Bitcoins to it.
Once back to Blockchain.info at the top of the screen click “request”. A window will pop-up with the option of “Copy and Share Address”.
Click on “Copy” to copy your Wallet ID to your clipboard.
Finalize Transaction on Coinmama
On coinmama, paste your Wallet ID that you previously copied then click “Proceed to Checkout”. Enter your ATM/debit details and confirm. Before the transaction goes through coinmama will send you an email with a link to verify the wallet address is yours and correct.
Once you click on the link in the email, the transaction is complete and your eagerly awaited Bitcoin has been sent to your wallet.
For me, it usually takes less than 20 minutes for the Bitcoin to reflect in my wallet. Although, it varies from time to time depending on trading activity on the bitcoin network. So don’t worry instead be happy as you await your coins to reflect in your wallet. In case of anything coinmama has excellent customer service that are on stand by to help you. Be sure to contact them.
Bitcoin has come a long way and believe it or not, 10 years ago it was worth 10 cents you do the math. As for it’s future, the people have spoken and have decided it’s here to stay.