Land, property and M-Akiba aside, cryptocurrency is an alternative method of investment that Kenyans aren’t appreciating. Cryptocurrency is a digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank. It’s similar to trading stocks in the stock market. The worth of bitcoin varies with the market just like gold.

Bitcoin is a particularly popular currency among traders. I decided to give it a shot with a very small investment on my part to see if it’s worth the hype. Note to others; cryptocurrency like anything else in the stock market is a bargain not a guaranteed investment. You need to do your research and shouldn’t invest in more than you’re capable. Start off with chump change or spare money that you have and build on that.

However, not many bitcoin trading platforms cater to potential Kenyan traders. One particular website called Paxful enabled me to  use Mpesa to buy $18 dollars’ worth of bitcoin (Kshs 1950) back in July. Paxful allows you to trade bitcoin easily and quickly and records your track record for interested traders to view when either buying or selling to you.

At the time a full bitcoin was around about $2700 (Kshs 270,000). As such my $18 dollars was only worth 0.00682405 of bitcoin.

During that time to now, bitcoin value has been rising and dropping but my investment had gone from $18 to $25 (Kshs 2650). Currently, one bitcoin is $3700 (Kshs 3700). Between July and now the value of bitcoin has increased by about 50%.

From the observation of my small investment and research, I’ve discovered bitcoin goes through incredibly high and low market margins, a high for example is where it’s at currently, being $3700 from $2700, a 50% increment. To make up for such a high increase of value in such short span of time, the bitcoin market sometimes falls drastically opening a great window for traders to buy bitcoin at a low price before the market heals and reverts back to its current value.

Something similar had happened back in July when bitcoin had reached $2500 and fell to about $2000, but recovered within a few days. This fall had negatively affected the bitcoin in my wallet which reduced to Kshs 1800 which was however recovered as the market itself recovered. This reverts back to my point of investing only what is convenient. Note however that to properly trade on Paxful, you must have 0.1 worth of bitcoin in your wallet/account, whatever that is at any given time, currently that would be around kshs 37,000.

For those with the money, I would advise to go ahead and invest; bitcoin is a currency many are looking into and making part of their financial lives. However, it’s also wise to read further and move skeptically, before getting too comfortable with investing in the currency.

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