Kenya has seen the installation of its first Bitcoin ATM amid the currency’s rising popularity in the East African nation and despite market prices taking a tumble in recent months.
Africa Adds to Its Number of Bitcoin ATMs
Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, is home to the country’s first cryptocurrency ATM. Developed by Kenyan startup BitClub, it enables users to dispense Bitcoin and Litecoin in exchange for cash, reports Konbini. People interested can purchase digital currency from as low as $5. The ATM accepts U.S. dollars and Kenyan shillings.
The machine already receives 15 to 20 visits a day. It’s believed that it will be popular among the younger generation.
This, however, isn’t the first Bitcoin ATM in Africa. There are four in South Africa, and one in Zimbabwe and Djibouti, according to CoinATMRadar. There are 3,374 Bitcoin ATMs in 71 countries, according to the crypto ATM tracker. The U.S. accounts for the most with 2,099.
The addition of Kenya’s adds to the steadily growing numbers amid rising interest in the cryptocurrency market.
Naturally, a rise in industry prices last December has seen many people keen to take part. Amid the growing interest in Bitcoin, Kenyans are eager to learn more. Not only that, but they want to embrace the financial opportunities it presents.
Nairobi-based BitPesa, a payments and digital foreign exchange startup, is one source providing an avenue for lower costs and increased speed of payments. Launched in 2013, it has offices in Lagos and Dakar. Additionally, it can be found in London, Luxembourg, and Madrid.
Expanding across Africa, it is aiming to provide access to finance to those who lack traditional means.
Market Prices Drop
The announcement of Kenya’s Bitcoin ATM comes at a time when industry prices are down. Today, it was reported that Bitcoin had fallen below $6,000 again, making it the second time this month.
Furthermore, one crypto trader – Ran Neu-Ner, host of CNBC’s Crypto Africa – is of the opinion that more price drops are expected. Speaking yesterday, he projected a new low of $5,350 in the next two weeks. Of course, if such a prediction does come true, it would be a drastic blow to the industry. Previously, Neu-Ner said that Bitcoin hadn’t bottomed yet. Earlier this month, he stated that a key level to watch was $5,000.
Despite this, though, current market prices or projected market values don’t appear to be impacting Kenya’s appetite for the industry. This is evident by the installation of their first Bitcoin ATM.
Do you think crypto ATMs bring more people to the market? Let us know in the comments below.
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