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It’s Getting Hot in Kenyan Blockchain and Crypto Scene

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 1 min read

A flurry of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency-related developments are taking place in Kenya, with the country this month welcoming its first Bitcoin ATM.

Source: sutirta budiman/Unsplash

The machine has been installed in Nairobi, and becomes one the first such devices to operate in East Africa. Investors can use the device to buy Bitcoin and Litecoin, and make payments in USD or Kenyan shillings.

The country will also welcome its first blockchain education center, with Kenyan blockchain solutions provider Funtrench set to open a Blockchain Campus at its Nairobi offices. Per a company statement, Funtrench says its courses are pending official national accreditation in the United States. The company will provide four-week intensive blockchain developer training, as well as “cryptocurrency trader” courses, and says its education center is the first of its kind in East Africa.

Tech giant IBM is continuing to develop a blockchain technology-powered microloans network in the country, while crypto-pay is also starting to gain momentum in the country’s capital – despite the central bank’s repeated insistence that digital tokens cannot be considered legal tender.

Cryptocurrency platform Bancor, meanwhile, says a new blockchain-powered platform will help it and Kenya-based NGO Grassroots Economics to help alleviate poverty in a number of low-income Kenyan communities – by allowing residents to create and distribute their own digital tokens, allowing for fast and safe P2P trading. Per Bancor, the initiative will be piloted in two of Kenya’s largest slum areas: Kawangware and Kibera.

Over in West Africa, meanwhile, Senegalese rapper Akon says he will launch his own AKoin cryptocurrency – which he plans to make tender in heart of a hi-tech city called Akon Crypto City. Per multiple media reports, Senegalese President Macky Sall has handed Akon and his associates some 8,100,000sqm of state-owned land for the ambitious project.