Bitcoin Accepted Here: Paying With BTC In Nairobi

Bitcoin Accepted Here: Paying With BTC In Nairobi


As I absolved into the comfortable bar, I had a activity of excitement. It would be the aboriginal time I would pay in Bitcoin at a bounded establishment. I accept traded in cryptos back August 2017, but I had never acclimated them to pay at a bounded merchant.

After my accompany and I had our ample of Tuskers (a bounded beer which is the best accepted in the country), we asked to pay in Bitcoin. The aide directed us to a affiche on the adverse area we scanned the barcode and beatific the requested amount. As we larboard the joint, our action was palpable. We weren’t aloof trading Bitcoin to accomplish some money, we were actively application it!

Bitcoin Is An Investment For Many

The joint, appropriately called the Bitcoin Lounge, is amid 15 kilometers from Nairobi. In a country that’s yet to absolutely accept, or comprehend, cryptocurrencies, such a collective is adamantine to find. Inside one can advice him or herself to some nyama choma (a bounded airiness of buzz meat) or accept a beer while watching soccer.

What sets the collective afar about is the actuality it accepts acquittal in cryptocurrencies.

Glamorous as it sounds, the cardinal of bodies who pay in cryptos are actual few. In Kenya, not abounding bodies own cryptocurrencies. For the few who do, they attention them as investments, with abounding accepting been admiring by tales of those who fabricated millions from affairs cryptocurrencies.

An Unimpressive Experience

I accordingly absitively to collaborate with a few assemblage at the collective and asked them if they accept had any acquaintance advantageous in cryptocurrencies. Unsurprisingly, abounding of them didn’t own any agenda currencies. Two adolescent gentlemen had acclimated Bitcoin to pay for their drinks, but the acquaintance had been unpleasant.

According to one, Gerald Mutiso, it was in December aftermost year and he had invested Kshs. 10,000 ($100) in Bitcoin afterwards actuality assured that he would accomplish millions from the venture. The adolescent university apprentice had absitively to use his backing to pay for drinks, but the transaction took hours. He concluded up advantageous through M-Pesa (a bounded adaptable money platform) instead. The bar buyer was about compassionate and already the Bitcoins reflected on his wallet, which was a day later, he refunded the adolescent man.

Bitcoin Lounge is amid aloof abutting to Kenyatta University, the second-largest in the country. I accordingly absitively to go about the academy and acquisition out aloof how abundant the acceptance knew about cryptocurrencies and if they had fabricated payments in cryptos.

Most acceptance had heard about Bitcoin, I learnt, but actual few had purchased it. The cardinal of those who had acclimated it for payments was alike fewer. This was majorly because very few stores in the country acquire cryptocurrencies. For many, Bitcoin Lounge was the alone merchant they knew which accustomed cryptocurrencies.

Adoption in Africa is patchwork

In abounding developed countries area cryptocurrencies have taken root, there abide crypto acquittal gateways. These firms accomplish it accessible for merchants to acquire Bitcoin and added cryptos seamlessly after necessarily accepting to accessible a crypto annual or alike apperceive what Bitcoin is. The gateways catechumen the cryptos accustomed into the merchant’s bill of best and drop it into their coffer accounts. Some of these accommodate Coinbase, BitPay, Coingate and GoCoin.

In Kenya, such casework don’t exist. This makes abounding merchants afraid to acquire Bitcoin for payments as they run the accident of its amount aback dropping, for which they would acquire losses. For the few that acquire Bitcoin such as Bitcoin Lounge, they acquire the acquittal anon to their Bitcoin wallets and again barter the cryptos themselves.

The bearings is not helped by the government’s attitude on cryptocurrencies. The Kenyan government has again warned the citizens adjoin advance in cryptocurrencies as they angle the accident of accident their money. The country’s Central Bank has echoed these views, with the governor admonishing that the Bitcoin blitz could be a pyramid scheme.

This is the anecdotal in abounding African countries. However, in some countries such as South Africa, the cardinal of merchants accepting Bitcoin is abundant higher. One can buy electronics, pay for a adequate beating and alike appoint dancers with Bitcoin.

The anecdotal is similar in Nigeria, Africa’s better abridgement area merchants are accepting Bitcoin to accessible themselves up to a new chump base.

Paying in Bitcoin in Africa is still a continued way from activity boilerplate or analogous the assimilation that adaptable money payments has achieved. However, acknowledgment to the efforts of some antecedents such as the Bitcoin Lounge, the abstemious may able-bodied be on its way there.

The columnist is invested in cryptocurrencies.