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The Nairobi Bitcoin Meetup Shows Kenyan Interest in Bitcoin is Higher Than Ever

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Nairobi Bitcoin Meetup

The latest Nairobi Bitcoin Meetup took place at the Marble Arch Hotel on November 30, 2017. The aim of the event was to create awareness surrounding bitcoin, cryptocurrency mining, and blockchain technology.

The discussion panel consisted of Justus Kimasyu, Director of Belfrics Kenya, Ken Kimathi, the Kenyan Associate of Remitano, and Michael Kimani, Chairman of Blockchain Association of Kenya, among others.

“This is the best turn out to a bitcoin meetup that we have ever seen. I believe that bitcoin awareness in Kenya has grown greatly in the last four years,” Kimani stated.

Bitcoin Volatility and Regulations

The two main issues raised by attendees were bitcoin’s volatility and cryptocurrency regulation in Kenya. In light of the increasing bitcoin price, it was a general feeling that the recent spikes are worrying.

Nairobi Bitcoin Meetup“What are the possible solutions when dealing with such an unstable currency?” Someone asked. In answer to this question, Eugene Mutai, a software engineer, gave an example of the Russian government that is in the process of creating its own digital currency. Therefore, to avoid dealing with a volatile currency, governments might digitise already existing currencies which are more stable.

At the same time, the warning given by the Central Bank of Kenya against cryptocurrencies had many attendees wondering: was the CBK right in giving this notice?

Daniel Nyairo, a cryptocurrency writer, stated,

“I support the CBK warning on the basis that there are a lot of scammers using cryptocurrencies to steal from people. However, the CBK should clearly differentiate bitcoin from scams.”

The Blockchain

According to Rosemary, a Kenyan lawyer, blockchain technology is the biggest win for anyone in the crypto space. “For instance, blockchain technology can be used in maintaining land records, offering government services such as health insurance, and in conducting general elections,” she stated.

“Blockchain is currently the best technology in the world since the Internet,” Eugene Mutai added.

Blockchain technology offers a lot of opportunities that Kenyans can explore. For example, ChamaPesa is an app that uses blockchain technology with the objective of helping Chamas with record keeping.

Mining Cryptocurrencies

Mining cryptocurrencies is an expensive venture that requires cheap electricity and high computing power in order to make a profit. Eugene Mutai has braved the world of cryptocurrency mining and shared his experience at the event. He currently mines ZCash (ZEC).

“I got into mining not only because of the returns it gives but also because I support the blockchain system through my computing power,” he stated.

Eugene’s miner uses eight graphics cards and two internet support systems. He recommended Genesis and HashFlare to investors interested in cloud mining.

Opportunities in the Cryptocurrency Space

According to Frank Deya, head of business development at Bitsoko, the crypto space has many opportunities. Bitsoko is working on providing some of these opportunities to Kenyans, especially entrepreneurs. These opportunities will include initial coin offerings (ICOs) and customer loyalties.

Frank is of the opinion that there is potential for ICOs to take root in Kenya. An initial coin offering (ICO) is a new form of startup fundraising that involves the issuance of a new digital currency to investors. Any organisation that launches an ICO has to convince potential investors why their project is worth investing in.

On the other hand, loyalties are rewards that customers get for simply viewing the site of a business. Loyalties will also be given in cryptocurrencies.

Advice to Cryptocurrency Newcomers

Experts had a lot of advice to give to those new to cryptocurrencies. Attendees were warned to:

  • Avoid sites that offer monthly returns and membership fees for the purchase of bitcoins.
  • Avoid sites asking for referrals in order to purchase bitcoins.
  • Buy bitcoins from trusted sources when using peer-to-peer platforms.

Expert Recommendations

The bitcoin meetup was well attended but Eugene emphasized the need for increased enlightenment. On the other hand, Justus Kimasyu noted that there is only one cryptocurrency exchange in Kenya. He recognized the need for more exchanges to get into the scene.

Michael Kimani encouraged those present at the event to buy ether (ETH) since bitcoin is becoming more expensive as its price increases.

“There is a business opportunity in Etherum trading. Kenyans should take advantage,” he said.

What is next in the Kenyan Bitcoin Scene?

There will be a Bitcoin Baraza Meetup on December 10, 2017, at the Enkare Hotel in Nairobi. Interested persons should also check out the event called ‘How to Make Sense of the Cryptocurrency Frenzy’, which will be held on 7th December 2017 at Moringa School. Both events will be hosted by the Blockchain Association of Kenya.

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Almost a Quarter of High-Tech Consumers in South Africa Now Own Cryptocurrency

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High-Tech Consumers in South Africa

A new study titled “Digital Lifestyle Measure report” conducted by MBIT found that 23 percent of high-tech consumers in South Africa own at least one cryptocurrency, with bitcoin being the most common holding. 

New Report Shows High-Tech Consumers Hold Crypto

In the”Digital Lifestyle Measure report” report, each level of tech consumer (high, medium, and low) was grouped according to DM segmentation. A high-tech consumer is identified and tagged as a “DLM5 consumer”, and for the low-tech consumers, a “DLM1 consumer” was used. 

To place each of the participants in the right groups, the survey made use of a question and answer (Q&A) method. Each person was categorised according to how well they were able to answer the provided questions. The questions mostly focused on their private digital lifestyle and technological gadgets they own and can operate well.

The result of this survey shows that only six percent of the low-tech consumers (DLM 1) own crypto, while 23 percent of high tech consumers own cryptocurrencies. The remaining percentage was then shared in the order: DLM 2: seven percent, DLM 3: twelve percent, and DLM 4: eight percent.

cryptoThe report also stated that of the DML5 population, about 42 perfect of them are of the notion that cryptocurrencies are here to stay. Same goes for 30 percent of the DLM 4 consumers group.

Conversely, 41 percent of the low-tech consumers (DLM1 consumers) did not know what cryptocurrencies are all about, according to IOL

From the DLM 3 consumer group, about 34 percent of them cannot say what the future looks like for cryptocurrencies but 26 percent of them claimed cryptocurrencies to be the “future of financial transacting.”

The report has further shown that high tech consumers who are continually paying for something electronically, are more likely to buy crypto in the long run.

Based on the google trends data, South Africa currently has the highest levels of interest in bitcoin across the world. Hence, it should come as no surprise that tech-savvy South Africans are the ones investing in digital currencies and tokens. 

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Ecobank Report: Most African Regulators Are Taking a “Wait and See” Approach to Cryptocurrency Regulation

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African Regulators

While there has been a substantial increase in the adoption of cryptocurrencies in Africa compared to three years ago, there has been minimal effort from African countries to try and regulate cryptocurrencies despite their increased use in various African nations according to a new report by Ecobank.

Ecobank tracked “the current state of cryptocurrency regulation in all markets in Sub-Saharan Africa” through the regulatory responses that have been issued by central banks or financial regulators. In the report, the pan-African bank found that most African regulators are taking a “wait and see” approach when it comes to cryptocurrency regulation.

The report stated: “Many African governments and regulators recognise both the risks and the potential positive impacts of cryptocurrencies, and some also appreciate the difference between cryptocurrencies and the underlying blockchain technology. But they have been reticent in authorising cryptocurrency transactions, and mostly remain apprehensive about the potential risks. African countries appear to be looking to their neighbours to regulate and innovate first, and learn from their mistakes, rather than being the first mover.”

The reported noted that the main reason why African governments were being skeptical about licensing the use of cryptocurrencies was their citizens getting overexposed to cryptocurrency investments and there being a future crash that would cause a ripple effect in the broader economy.

African Regulators’ Stance

African RegulatorsOut of the 39 jurisdictions surveyed, more than 21 countries in the region are yet to make a public declaration on the use of cryptocurrencies.

So far, there have been three countries that have taken a stance on cryptocurrency. Namibia tops the list having banned the commercial use of digital currencies. However, South Africa and Swaziland are the only two countries in Sub-Saharan Africa that have adopted “a generally favourable and permissive stance, but without full legality”.

The remaining countries fall somewhere in between and “refuse” to directly regulate cryptocurrencies claiming that bitcoin and other digital currencies “operate in the grey area between legality and illegality” and have issued warnings to their citizens and investors against using or investing in them. The bank also noted that conversations regarding the speculative nature and instability of cryptocurrency prices have overshadowed their benefits and the potential they bring.

The bank went ahead to note: “Unfortunately, the spectacular rise and fall in the traded value of cryptocurrencies has drowned out broader discussion on the potential benefits this new technology could bring. The transformational impact that could be delivered by tokenising products and services on the blockchain has been compared to that of the Internet. Crypto tokens and currencies could enable consumers to transact instantly, cross-border and for free, provide them with KYC-compliant digital IDs, and incentivise their behaviour and change the way they engage with governments & service providers.”

Ecobank will continue to track cryptocurrency regulation in Sub-Saharan Africa and provide regular updates that will reflect the regulation progress in the African nations.

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Paxful Continues #BuiltWithBitcoin Charitable Initiative in Africa with the Construction of a Second School

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#BuiltWithBitcoin

Peer-to-peer bitcoin exchange Paxful announced the newest chapter in its #BuiltWithBitcoin charitable initiative: the construction of a school in Rwanda – for students aged six to fifteen – in the Nyamata Sector of Rwanda’s Bugesera District. This will be the second bitcoin-funded school that Paxful has raised funds for.

bitcoinContinuing its partnership with NGO Zam Zam Water, Paxful has kickstarted the project with a $20,000 donation. The total construction cost of the school is estimated to be $100,000. The remaining balance, Paxful hopes, will be raised through its fundraising campaign.

Donations can be made via Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Dash.  Paxful will match all community donations until the $100,000 goal is met.

“The #BuiltWithBitcoin initiative is a testament to the power of cryptocurrency,” said Ray Youssef, CEO of Paxful. He added:

“We firmly believe that it can improve lives and make the world a better place.”

The planned school is expected to be almost twice the size of the first bitcoin-funded school and will serve up to 300 primary school students upon completion. Furthermore, the school will include a cafeteria, a 35,000-liter potable water well, solar panels for sustainability, and many other resources for the education and enjoyment of students, staff, and faculty, according to a company press release.

“Education is a crucial tool for helping those in developing nations increase their standard of living, so we are very pleased to partner with Paxful to serve these bright young students,” said Yusuf A. Nessary, founder and president of Zam Zam Water. He added:

“This is only a small glimpse into what we can and will continue to do with the power of cryptocurrency.”

Paxful began the #BuiltwithBitcoin initiative in 2017 to promote philanthropy and charity within the cryptocurrency industry. The company plans to construct 100 African schools, as well as donate money for wells and other projects.

To contribute to #BuiltwithBitcoin, send all donations to Zam Zam Water:

BTC (Bitcoin): 3Q5CESP85hhXTLSy2HDbSyNchb5Bi8D7ku
BCH (Bitcoin Cash): 15YGniLxo77kfMUWGoRNT6ShUQC93MvaXg

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