Bitcoin has been around for more than a decade and its presence is becoming more notable by the day. I’ll attribute this to the revolutionary technology behind, blockchain, that is about to take over our daily lives soon.
As the pioneer and most recognized cryptocurrency in the country, Bitcoin has become a favourite among most techies. The common mwananchi is not yet excited by the idea, which leaves it to the tech lovers.
In Kenya especially, it is the most dominant crypto used by far and just like any other currency, one needs to identify a safe secure and easily accessible wallets to store their bitcoins.
There are many wallets available on the internet but Kenyans are worried about those that can work for them perfectly, considering their location. So, below are the best bitcoin wallets for Kenya; tried and tested.
The criterion employed to shortlist these wallets is based on the requirement for them to have a straight forward channel for Kenyans to exchange money with bitcoins and vice versa.
But just before we dive in, there are various types of wallets you should be aware of: hardware wallets, paper wallets, desktop wallets, mobile wallets and web wallets. All wallets in this list fall under any of these categories. We shall delve more on these types of wallets later
This is perhaps one of the earliest and most recognized bitcoin wallets in Kenya. LocalBitcoins.com is a bitcoin exchange platform which incorporates its bitcoin wallet. It is commonly referred to as the Craiglist of bitcoin due to its ability to allow peer to peer communications and transactions.
There are several reasons why LocalBitcoins.com is a great place to store your bitcoins in Kenya.
First, it is MPesa enabled which means you can directly purchase bitcoins from your phone right now and have them sent to your LocalBitcoin wallet. That’s beside the many other payment methods available such as debit cards, Skrill, Paypal, Payoneer, Neteller, wire transfer, etc.
Secondly, it has a very easy to use dashboard which provides a good user experience for customers. The process of buying or selling bitcoins is very straight forward, especially when dealing with serious bitcoin market.
LocalBitcoins.com also has relatively cheap transaction costs where you are only charged 1% fee after a trade you advertised is completed. Besides that, the standard bitcoin network fee applies to maintain the blockchain. Everything else is free
However, LocalBitcoins houses some scammers or jokers who you need to be careful with. Ensure you undertake a good background check before transacting with anyone. Another issue I’ve noted is the high exchange rates as compared to other platforms.
LocalBitcoins wallet provides a great place to store your bitcoins while transacting. The receiving address changes after every transaction which provides more security to your bitcoins. Nonetheless, it is not advisable to store your bitcoins over long periods.
The closest competitor to LocalBitcoins is Paxful which entered the Kenyan market in 2016. By 2020, Paxful had surpassed the later in weekly P2P volume of bitcoins transactions. Paxful has taken an aggressive marketing approach to capture the ever-growing number of Kenyans interested in bitcoin and cryptocurrency. No wonder the tremendous growth they have experienced.
Paxful is a peer to peer marketplace to buy and sell bitcoins with over 300 payment methods. It includes MPesa which is the feature that has attracted most Kenyans to the exchange platform. Other popular gateways include PayPal, Western Union, Bank Transfer, Airtel money and even Equitel money.
Paxful Wallet is considered one of the best web wallets with built in-class security features such as strict verification and password requirements have secured bitcoin for more than 2 million users.
Paxful also has a mobile app for both Android and iOS which feature a mobile wallet for users to access their digital currencies at any time. This feature is perhaps the other reason why Paxful has surpassed LocalBitcoins in the bitcoin market scene.
One can share their bitcoin wallets addresses easily and use QR codes with traders and friends for instant transactions. You also get the latest bitcoin to fiat conversion rates which are significantly less as compared to LocalBitcoins.
This is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchange platforms in the world. It is considered to have the best overall digital wallet on the internet. This not only means it’s a great bitcoin wallet but it also supports more than 20 other major cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, etc.
It has a web platform as well as standalone mobile wallet apps for both Android and iOS which enable users to access their digital currencies on the go. Since they are wallets, you cannot exchange them directly with money unless you use Coinbase’s exchange apps. The mobile wallets have been built separately to add security to users’ cryptocurrencies.
Coinbase recognizes Kenya as one of its host countries and many crypto enthusiasts use the exchange platform for bitcoin transactions. However, it does not provide direct MPesa services hence Kenyans are limited to using PayPal, debit cards and Wire Transfer.
Some of the superior security features inbuilt in Coinbase wallet include offline storage and 2-step verification during login. The latter involves a one-time-password being sent to your phone number whenever someone tries to log into your account.
Finally, all digital currencies stored in the wallet are protected by an insurance policy which secures your bitcoins.
These are not the only Bitcoin wallets available in the market that can work for Kenyans. However, they are the current most used and trusted wallets in Kenya. We shall keep you updated with more convenient wallets.