Cryptocurrency burst in the mainstream when the price of one bitcoin (BTC) reached a new all-time high of $19,783.06 spurring a massive worldwide interest in the blockchain-supported technologies.
Like betting, the Cryptocurrency craze has caught up with Kenya and is exciting discussions among citizens who are now putting millions of money at stake in a potentially high-reward gamble. Notably, a recent research by Citi notes that Kenya is among the few countries in the world with the highest per capita holding of Bitcoin. As it stands now, there is no denying that cryptocurrencies have come a long way and a variety of businesses both online and offline are now accepting bitcoins as payment. Such popular worldwide stores include Microsoft, overstock, Newegg, Dell among others.
In Kenya, cryptocurrencies received a major blow after Central Bank of Kenya issued a circular to all banks in the country warning them against dealing with cryptocurrencies or engaging in transactions with crypto-related entities since the virtual currency is not a legal tender in the country.
This, against Central Bank’s warning, a Kenyan company Boxlight Electronics has gone ahead to become the first electronic shop to adopt Bitcoin payment in Kenya for its products. The company which deals in the sale and distribution of Televisions, Home theatres and home appliances says Bitcoin as payment is becoming a must-have for companies that sell products online.
“We have received tons of requests from our customers to pay using digital currencies. As a company whose 90% of customers are young, tech savvy and predominantly online we choose to be all inclusive and adapt to the needs of those that prefer this type of currency,” Robinson Murage, CEO, Boxlight Electronics.
To pay for products via Bitcoins several options exist, customers can choose to have a bitcoin Cash Wallet – an app that lets you receive, hold, and spend Bitcoin Cash, a good example is the BitPay bitcoin wallet app. If you don’t yet have Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash in your wallet yet, you’ll need to buy some by converting any currency into and out of Bitcoin using different exchanges.
To make payment, you’ll simply send the payment from your wallet app by scanning the QR code on the checkout section on the website for the product you select .If you purchase Bitcoins using LocalBitcoins.com, the Bitcoins will appear in your LocalBitcoins Wallet. From there you can easily send the Bitcoins to the Boxlight Bitcoin address.
As for the low adoption for Payment in Kenya, Murage notes that the Bitcoin price volatility is the main reason companies in Kenya are reluctant to endorse Bitcoin for payment.
“Like any other market, Bitcoins price fluctuates a lot. For us once we receive payment in Bitcoins, I track the crypto news to understand where the market is moving if its low, I’ll just hold on to them and sell or cash them when the time is right. Swings, whether upward or downward, are difficult to predict, but the overall direction is generally upward,” adds Murage.
On how many payments are made using Bitcoins, “Bitcoin Payments represent the smallest but most rapid growing stream of purchase transactions currently accounting for up to 10 purchases in a month.”
“I believe Bitcoin will be seen more and more as a legitimate method of payment in Kenya,” he adds, “Digital currencies are not going away, it’s like hybrid cars, it’s the way of the future, and businesses should adopt and learn when they still have time. It’s an unstoppable revolution, one that am happy to be part of.”
The company says it is consistently ranked as one of the best online shopping destinations and regularly earns industry-leading customer service ratings.