What is driving Kenya’s Bitcoin demand?


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Enterprising young Kenyan have figured out they can use bitcoin as a payment mechanism to take part in global online commerce . They buy bitcoin from a peer to peer market (here) and use it to pay for stuff online. For as little as 200 KES, they can purchase $ 2 worth of Bitcoin to make micro payments to their favorite sports bet pickers.

Making payments online or sending money out of the country is a pain. A fact I have observed countless times from Kenya’s online payment woes. It is not immediately obvious unless (like me) you speak regularly to a niche community of young people that actively interacts with online services and trade: freelancers, affiliate marketers, audio transcribers, writers – broadly online workers.

Kenya’s online payments infrastructure is under-developed. A new report by Citi Research notes this

“bitcoin and digital currencies could be impactful in emerging markets, where payments systems are not as developed. In countries where there is no quality payments infrastructure, we do think there could be some opportunity for an open decentralized network like bitcoin,” the report states.




Above is a snapshot of  an array of payment methods for an online sports prediction service, soccerplatform.com. I happen to know for a fact, that an increasing number of young Kenyans are using the service. The company made a decision to accept bitcoin from its local customers after finding out there was a budding market for bitcoins in Kenya. Soccer Platform [dot] com now processes its payments directly from bitcoin, without the added forex risk of exchange via the Kenyan shilling and US dollar and additional hussle of grappling with traditional payment methods.

I expect to see more merchants online accept bitcoin from emerging countries like ours (Kenya). These merchants could be large e-commerce companies, small outfits from India, or sole entrepreneurs from Slovenia. Kenyans will naturally interact with these companies, and bitcoin is a friction less way to settle pay.

What they all need is to easily accept and make payments from anywhere in the world. Bitcoin does that for them.



  1. Brilliant article! Good Job Michael

  2. Nice stuff need to know more

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