Are you interested in bitcoin? This article is a complete guide on how to buy bitcoin with M-Pesa. Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin are digital currencies that have a monetary value. Hence, to get started, you will need to exchange money for cryptocurrencies.
What is M-Pesa? M-Pesa is a mobile phone-based money transfer service, payments and micro-financing service, launched in 2007 by Vodafone Group plc and Safaricom, the largest mobile network operator in Kenya. It has since expanded to Tanzania, Mozambique, DRC, Lesotho, Ghana, Egypt, Afghanistan and South Africa.
You must learn the following essential elements of cryptocurrencies that you will frequently be using.
- Bitcoin Wallet. A bitcoin wallet is a digital purse for the safekeeping of cryptocurrencies. The wallet has an option to send, receive and back up your cryptos. To receive funds into your wallet, you will need to provide the sender with your wallet address. The wallet address is like a bank account number or M-Pesa mobile number. Take caution to backup your wallets’ private and public keys offline in a secure. You can choose a cold bitcon wallet or hot bitcoin wallet.
- An exchange. This is a marketplace where people sell and buy digital currencies online. People do not have to meet since they can exchange digital currencies through the internet. In Kenya, there are several exchanges available that one can use to trade.
We highly advise our readers never to transact an amount they cannot afford to lose. Bitcoin transactions have risks just like any other financial transactions. Therefore, one can earn or lose.
There are popular platforms that one can buy cryptocurrencies using M-Pesa directly. They include:
- Binance has closed down its bitcoin M-Pesa funding option in Kenya following a directive from its service providers, the Nigerian fintech Flutterwave. Flutterwave issued the directive following a new policy by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) requiring all financial institutions and deposit-taking firms stop from dealing with cryptocurrency exchanges. Remaining options for buying bitcoin in Kenya on Binance are debit card (Visa and MasterCard) and P2P.
Paxful is a popular exchange that one can use to buy bitcoin with Mpesa. Once you sign up, you can buy, sell and exchange bitcoin using Mpesa. It has a simple and fast registration process. It is one of the best platform to trade in crypto since it has a good customer support.
Buying bitcoin on Paxful with M-Pesa is simple. You can either buy from one of offers listed by vendors on the platform for selling their BTC using M-Pesa. Bitcoin sellers in Kenya set their own rates and decide their margins.
LocalBitcoins is a platform that only deals in Bitcoin. It is one of the most popular platform for buying and selling bitcoin.
You must register an account with LocalBitcoins. Once your account is active, you will have a free online bitcoin wallet. When you are ready to buy bitcoin with Mpesa, go to the search box in the main page and fill in the form with the amount you want to buy in your currency, your location and choose M-Pesa as a payment method.
From the list of advertisements, choose one from a trader with a good reputation score and a high amount of trades. Take note of response indicator showing if a trader replies within five minutes (green), 30 minutes (yellow) or slower than 30 minutes (grey).
Press ‘Buy’ button to more information about the offer such as the terms of the trade. It is important to read the terms carefully before submitting the trade request. If you do not agree with the terms of that particular trader, you can go back to the previous page and choose another advertisement/offer.
To start buying bitcoin, type in the blue box how much you want to buy, enter a message for the seller and click the ‘Accept terms’ button and send trade request button. You must be ready to pay when accepting the terms. You need to pay before the payment window is over or the trade will be automatically cancelled.
Ensure that you only trade with a seller with a good reputation score. Ensure that the seller has a 100 percent feedback score.
Formerly Ethereum, LocalCryptos is a worldwide peer-to-peer marketplace where users buy and sell cryptocurrencies. Buyers and sellers post ads on the platform. An exchange is conducted directly between the buyer and seller using different payment methods including M-Pesa.
You need to sign on LocalCryptos. The process takes a few minutes. Once signed up, search for M-Pesa bitcoin sellers. These are the people who have posted a bid to sell bitcoin with M-Pesa. Begin M-Pesa to bitcoin trade by transferring money to the seller using your M-Pesa account.
Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are becoming popular in many African countries including East Africa where M-Pesa is the most popular mobile wallet. However, cryptocurrencies are volatile. You need to buy them after a thorough research and with caution. Remember not invest what you cannot afford to lose.