Since mining Bitcoin is an expensive and inefficient task, the next best alternative is to buy bitcoin through a coin exchange.

Most of the coin exchanges online do not accept Kenyan traders and the ones that do require much verification that doesn’t work in a Kenyan setting. But for the few that accept Kenyans, below are some of the requirements and procedure:

  • To get started you’ll need a MasterCard or Visa card and a Neteller or Skrill account. Load your Neteller or Skrill account with your desired amount.
  • You can open an account with exchanges such as Remitano, Belfrics Kenya, Bitpesa, Localbitcoins or Paxful. Once you’ve done the verification, within your exchange is the option to deposit via Neteller or Skrill.
  • You can then buy bitcoins instantly. Secure your bitcoins by storing them in a private wallet such as MyEtherWallet. Your wallet will give you an option to exchange your Bitcoin for other cryptocurrencies.
  • Protect your wallet with a strong password and set up a backup mechanism in case you lose your computer.
  • Neteller offers a tool for converting Bitcoin to USD, and it deposits the amount into your Neteller account. You can use Neteller to transfer your money via Mpesa instantly.

Which are the best Bitcoin Exchanges in Kenya?

Remitano

This company just recently entered the Kenyan market. Remitano is a peer-to-peer bitcoin exchange which allows you to buy and sell bitcoin through an escrow service. You’ll need to sign up using your email address to buy bitcoin on Remitano’s platform. After account verification, you can access a list of local buyers and sellers and place orders instantly. Remitano acts as an escrow account to ensure transactional security. Once the transaction is complete, bitcoins will appear on your Remitano wallet.

Belfrics Kenya

This bitcoin exchange and payment gateway charges a 5% fee on transactions and has no minimum limits on buying bitcoins. For account verification and payments, you’ll need to top your account using a bank transfer. Once you complete this process, you can commence trading immediately. Your account will also double up as your wallet.

Bitpesa

Bitpesa provides a bitcoin cross-border payment platform that doubles up as a bitcoin marketplace. This company is the most established and well-funded bitcoin startup in Africa. To trade on the exchange you’ll need to register and go through the standard processes of verification. This exchange requires you upload a picture of your ID for verification. You can then buy bitcoin in Kenya shillings as yourself, a different person or a contact you’ve used before.

In September 2017, Bitpesa introduced a minimum transaction limit of $25,000 for Kenyan clients. It no longer verifies new Kenyan accounts due to the complex regulatory environment in the country. This limits the company’s ability to make payments in Kenya shillings, thus only high net Kenyan traders can use Bitpesa to buy bitcoin.

LocalBitcoins

This company is a world leader in peer-to-peer cryptocurrency exchange that assists over the counter bitcoin trades. After creating an account on the platform, you can proceed to buy bitcoin in Kenya shillings. The platform ranks sellers according to transactional history.

Paxful

Paxful is a peer-to-peer bitcoin exchange that connects buyers and sellers in one central point. The platform also allows traders to buy bitcoin using Kenya shillings. They rate the reputation of sellers same as LocalBitcoins, thus it’s important to choose buyers with high ratings.


By Jeff Mwaura, Jeff is Kenyan based freelance writer with focus on technology and finance.