Bitcoin’s Big Opportunity In Africa

On a Tuesday night at a Nairobi tech incubator, Michael Kimani preaches the virtues of crypto currencies to a small gathering of tech-savvy Kenyans.

The startups at the meeting are already busy building businesses—to disrupt Kenya’s large remittances market; or create Kenya’s first bitcoin exchange; or establish a crypto-wallet app as the on-campus currency of nearby Kenyatta University.

While global entrepreneurs and investors have been cautiously eying the potential of bitcoin in Africa, a more aggressive homegrown breed of African startups is already experimenting in Kenya, East Africa’s powerhouse economy. There are the same problems with criminal use of bitcoin—this month, hackers reportedly demanded a ransom of bitcoins from a major Kenyan bank—but also an unusually big market hungry for an easier way to move money. Read more

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