What Percentage of Kenya’s Population uses Crypto?
Interest in crypto is rising in Kenya, with 8.5% of the population (4.5m people) owning Bitcoin or another digital currency. This is according to a study by the UN, which described Kenya as Africa’s leading nation in crypto adoption.
Long considered the Silicon Valley of Africa, Kenya is a tech hub that now outranks the US in crypto adoption by percentage. Only 8.3% of Americans own Bitcoin. In Africa, Kenya ranks ahead of South Africa (7.1%) and Nigeria (6.3%) in using digital currencies.
Around the world, Ukraine has the highest number of crypto users (12.7%). Russia ranks second at 11.9% while Venezuela is third with an 11.9% adoption rate.
Why are Kenyans Buying Crypto? Reports by Chain analysis and Business Daily Africa point to the following reasons:
The Kenyan Shilling has been losing value at an alarming rate in the past two years. In 2022, the shilling depreciated by 9%, forcing many Kenyans to convert their money into dollars, euros, and crypto.
Crypto is the favorite store of value for young Kenyans. There are a few explanations. For starters, bitcoin is a good hedge against inflation. Sure, it lost a lot of value in 2022.
But it has a limited supply of 21 million coins. That means its demand is only bound to increase over the years. Another reason Kenyans love crypto for preserving savings is that it provides autonomy.
You can store your bitcoins in a wallet and use them as you wish. There are no fees for owning your money. More importantly, you don’t need authorization from a bank to use the funds.
Credible Payment Method
Bitcoin might be virtual money. But it’s a credible way to make payments. In Kenya, hundreds of small businesses now accept crypto. Some of them love bitcoin because it’s not reversible. This helps businesses prevent credit card and mobile money fraud.
On the other hand, some Kenyans buy bitcoin to use it for different transactions. You can use crypto to buy coffee, pay for groceries or fund your online casino account.
Crypto is particularly helpful for funding betting accounts. You see, there are a lot of great online casinos overseas. Many of them accept Kenyan players. But they do not work with Kenyan banks. This makes crypto the best banking option.
That being said, not every online casino supports Bitcoin. If you would like to join an online casino that accepts BTC, check out this crypto casinos comparison by Casino.online. Many of the recommended websites have generous welcome bonuses worth up to Ksh125,000 ($1000).
Borderless, Low-Cost Transactions
With the Kenyan shilling weakening against the dollar, entrepreneurs in the country are looking for better ways to make international payments. Bitcoin is a great choice owing to its accessibility and low fees.
Bitcoin supports borderless payments, meaning Kenyans can use it to complete transactions around the world. It’s also relatively cheaper than banks. It is fast and secure.
Unlike most payment methods, Bitcoin is unregulated. It works through a decentralized system known as the blockchain. The blockchain records transactions chronologically and permanently. These records can’t be altered.
In a perfect world, crypto wouldn’t charge fees. It was created to facilitate peer-to-peer payments with no intermediary. However, blockchain payments require verification to prevent fraud. The people who verify these transactions get paid small fees deducted from every payment.
Bitcoin Generates Wealth
The biggest percentage of crypto owners in Kenya buy bitcoin to build wealth. Most of them are young, college-educated men and women getting started with life.
Bitcoin promises generational wealth. Historically, the digital currency has outperformed most investment assets significantly. And it’s not the only cryptocurrency out there.
Some bitcoin alternatives—Ethereum, Solana, and Bitcoin Cash—have grown by more than 20,000% since their launch. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, therefore, that many young Kenyans want to change their fortunes by investing in crypto.
Unfortunately, Bitcoin hasn’t been performing well since late 2021. Its value fell by more than 50% in 2022. It bounced back in the first of 2023, but only time will tell whether it will get back to its all-time high or not.
If crypto starts another bullish cycle in 2023, it will likely capture the attention of Kenyans significantly. Historically, most people buy bitcoin once it starts gaining value to avoid missing out on the hype.
Social Media Impact
From Tik Tok influencers to Facebook groups that help Kenyans choose the right cryptocurrencies, social media aids in popularizing crypto in Kenya. More than 80% of young Kenyans use social media regularly.
They interact with bitcoin-related posts every day. This helps them learn how crypto works, where to buy, and why they should buy without ever having to conduct Google searches.
Social media also demystifies the myths and misconceptions people have about cryptocurrency. It also helps people who’ve never bought bitcoin learn from the success of others, fueling the rapid adoption of digital currencies in the country.
Volatility Gets People Excited
Bitcoin is a highly volatile asset. Naturally, you would think people would avoid it in favor of less volatile investments like gold and the stock market. Interestingly, a lot of people love crypto’s volatile behavior.
That you could double your money in Bitcoin overnight makes it attractive to people who want to grow their wealth fast. It’s like going to a casino, according to Shark Tank investor Kevin O’Leary.
Although “Mr. Wonderful” likens investing to gambling, this doesn’t stop a lot of young Kenyans from converting their shillings to Bitcoins. It may lead to losses sometimes. But it’s a thrilling ride that occasionally leads to tremendous profits for investors.
Bitcoin is a Movement
Another reason people buy crypto is that it’s more of a culture than anything else. People who love bitcoin have their own jargon. They believe it’s the future of money and the smart way to invest.
According to Mark Cuban of Shark Tank, crypto can be likened to religion. People who own truly believe in its capabilities. They’re not disheartened by its volatility and sharp price falls. They love it because they believe it can change the world.