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Second Bitcoin exchange launched in Kenya

Australia-based bitcoin exchange Igot has launched in Kenya this week using mobile money services for customer deposits and withdrawals.

The company is operating under the name BitPesa and will be using M-Pesa, Orange Money and Airtel Money for purchases.

It becomes the second exchange offering bitcoin access to mobile money transfer services users in Kenya after BitX.

M-PESA PENETRATION

According to an article in Inside Bitcoin, cryptocurrency adoption in Kenya has been a major talking point for supporters of bitcoin in the last few years, partially due to M-Pesa’s penetration in the country.

Igot founder Rick Day, in an interview with Inside Bitcoin, cited international remittances to underline the importance of launching the exchange platform to Kenya.

“Over 2.5 million Kenyan emigrants around the world send money home to their families. Igot aims to make these transactions as easy, fast, and convenient as possible. In 2014, remittance inflows to Kenya increased by USD137 million or (11 per cent) to USD 1,428.5 billion. The average remittance transaction costs the emigrant sender between 5 percent and 9 percent,” he told Inside Bitcoin.

DIGITAL CURRENCY

He also underscored the importance of M-Pesa which “has over 15 million subscribers in Kenya, making it one of the most prolific money transfer on the mobile platform.”

Bitcoin is a digital currency that moves money over the internet, allowing users to buy or sell them for fiat currencies via exchanges.

The price is determined by market demand, and is not dictated by any central bank or government. The issuance of digital currencies is math-based, controlled by a set of rules that prevents inflation.

Bitcoins can be used to shop online without a credit card to buy domains, music. You can also use Bitcoin to shop on Amazon through gyft.com or buy X-box games online on Microsoft.com without a credit card.