What you need to know:
- But, the landscape has rapidly shifted and now Kenya is one of the world’s largest crypto markets.
- However, there are still some challenges, especially with mistrust and ignorance. Many still see this trade as a get-rich-quick scheme run by swindlers.
- Although many Kenyans are into crypto-trading, there are many more who end up conned, and this lot inevitably spreads the notion that ours is a dishonest trade.
BitSasa, in collaboration with other international partners, educates youths on cryptocurrencies trade and how to stay safe from swindlers. He dropped out of university six years ago to become a bitcoin entrepreneur.
What inspired your decision to drop out of college and join crypto trading?
When I first heard about cryptocurrencies, bitcoin and blockchain technology, it was all too complex for me to understand and I just ignored it. Two years later, when I was working with a tour company as a sales agent, a client from the US asked me if they could pay using bitcoin. That prompted me to check the price of bitcoins and to my surprise, it had increased by over $1,400 (Sh140,000) in just two years. That is when I realised that bitcoin trading is indeed a lucrative field.
At that time, I was a third-year student of Business Administration at Moi University. I invested all my savings to buy my first bitcoin, which cost about Sh220,000. Because everything went so well after that, I didn’t see any reason to continue with my degree. I have never wanted to get employed.
And what inspired the creation of BitSasa?
Like many Kenyans who have tried to get into crypto trading, I have been conned. I was tricked into giving away half a bitcoin, worth over Sh2.5 million. This really set me back and I didn’t want the same to happen to anyone else. That is why I teamed up with some of my friends to start BitSasa. Our main goal is to educate people on legitimate trading ways and to let them know how to avoid scammers.
Tell us about your experience in this business…
Well, it hasn’t been very easy. I got into the business when it was still quite unpopular and at that time, convincing anyone to get into it wasn’t easy. But, the landscape has rapidly shifted and now Kenya is one of the world’s largest crypto markets. However, there are still some challenges, especially with mistrust and ignorance. Many still see this trade as a get-rich-quick scheme run by swindlers. Although many Kenyans are into crypto-trading, there are many more who end up conned, and this lot inevitably spreads the notion that ours is a dishonest trade.
Do you think crypto is the future of capital markets in Kenya and globally?
It is hard to tell whether its popularity and profitability will last, but currently, I think cryptocurrencies are growing and many people are getting interested. That said, I don’t think crypto will replace the capital markets. Those are two different markets. They both have their place, advantages and disadvantages. The unpredictability and volatility of crypto markets is what makes it a profitable business. I would certainly advise people to invest in crypto, but it goes without saying that they must be careful.
Do you regret dropping out?
Not at all. If anything, I am glad I did because the only benefit I would have reaped from my degree would be to get employed, and I am fine being my own boss. I am not looking for a job and I don’t think I will need a degree any time soon. Also, just because I dropped out doesn’t mean I stopped learning. I have taken some leadership courses, which I believe will help me in my entrepreneurship journey and generally in life. I have also started to learn computer programming languages and I’ll continue to take more practical courses that can improve my skillset as an entrepreneur.
What is your vision for BitSasa?
In terms of enlightening the youth on cryptocurrencies, I can’t say we have achieved as much as we would like. That’s why we plan to begin a campus tour in May this year. We will visit universities, especially those in rural areas, to teach students about the trade. This way, we hope that we can improve the number of Kenyans we educate. I am hopeful that BitSasa will be able to educate millions of Kenyans about crypto trading in the next five years. Also, we mostly fund BitSasa activities from our pockets, but I hope that we will soon find partners who will sponsor us.
What is your message to youths who might like to enter the crypto-space?
It doesn’t matter who you are or how much money you have. There is enough room for everyone in this space. Don’t be afraid to take risks, because it is only in trying that you can succeed. You don’t need a lot of money to start, you need just as little as Sh500 and that can make you earn you millions in interests. And when you make it, hold someone else’s hands.