You read Factsheet, our series of specific guides on experiencing and using innovation platforms in Africa. Whether you are looking for knowledge on getting your African movie on Netflix, raising a seed round or ending up an online style course, we are covering all that.
Bitcoin is cash, a legitimate currency for transactions.
There, I said it. And by the end of this piece, you will not fret much about discussing this concept with family and friends.
This is not a project; it’s an acknowledgment of reality.
Bitcoin belongs to a family of thousands of cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin Money, Ether and Litecoin. The “crypto” in the term releases cyberhacking vibes, of some dark-web nefariousness. The word’s Greek ancestor “kruptos” just indicates “concealed.”
Cryptocurrencies are developed with computer system code, and as such are called digital or virtual currencies. The code is secured to avoid counterfeiting and make it transferable across geographies.
How does this work?
Blockchain innovation is the subject of a different piece, but what a user needs to know is that no central authority controls its flow. Every cryptocurrency has a decentralised ledger that records each transaction.
Prior to setting up your Bitcoin wallet, a caveat. Bitcoin has two problems that make it rather less preferable than regular money.
One, it has a finite supply due to the fact that the currency’s source code enforces a limitation on just how much Bitcoin can be mined. Secondly, the decentralised nature suggests it is not under federal government control, making it a favour currency for malicious actors.
Also, it’s digital just. You can’t squeeze it into an offering box. That’s not an issue, is it?
Refresher course over. Now, let’s established an account and begin transacting.
Select a wallet
You understand how a wallet is needed for money? Same applies to cryptocurrencies. So the first thing to do– after comprehending how Bitcoin works– is to decide on which wallet to use.
There are a variety of choices for Africans: BuyCoins, Bitsika, Quidax, Luno, Package, YellowCard, LocalBitcoin. And more.
We have actually composed a bit about BuyCoins before but the focus was on Sendcash, an item that assists in Bitcoin-to-naira transfers throughout borders. BuyCoins has actually unveiled the feature in Ghana this week as more Africans latch on to the digital currency trip.
There’s no art to picking any of these apps, so you need to opt for whichever feels familiar to your senses.
Download and sign up
After downloading Bitsika, you can “Continue with Google” to sign up utilizing your Gmail address.
Luno’s very first page after downloading the app shows the existing Bitcoin price in your local currency, with tabs for other currencies.
Quidax states it’s “Novice friendly” with round-the-clock assistance readily available, then requests your telephone number. Package asks for your phone number on its very first page however setup is quite seamless.
BTC Pay. It’s got some press today after the Feminist Union, a women’s group in Nigeria at the forefront of the #EndSARS movement began using it to get contributions.
Normally, registering for a fundamental wallet Bitcoin needs a mix of these: a username, contact number and email address.
Depending upon the app, you can fund a Bitcoin wallet through bank transfer, credit/debit card, or mobile cash.
Bitsika offers all 3, Bundle has simply card and bank transfer (maybe because it is still brand-new and based in Nigeria where mobile money isn’t such a huge deal).
I don’t know if this uses throughout the board however funding a Bitcoin wallet takes more time than normal bank transfers or wallet funding activities on, state, Piggyvest.
For instance, it takes up to 15 minutes for a card transfer on Bundle and up to an hour for a bank transfer. Both transfer modes sustain deal charges: 1.5%and NGN 150 respectively.
On BuyCoins, deposit is by bank transfer and it’s complimentary.
Follow the app’s direction to include a checking account, and pick an amount to move to the wallet. The transfer is stored as a regional currency or US dollar (if the wallet accepts dollars) token on the wallet.
With the token in your wallet, you can purchase Bitcoin. At the time of writing, the exchange rate stands at 1 BTC for 5.3 million (~ $13,970 at the Central bank of Nigeria rate).
When you’ve got to this point, selling and sending out Bitcoin to other people becomes rather simple. You’ll be sending the BTC to a wallet address, the equivalent of an account number.
However depending upon the app, there may be an additional level of confirmation required to send cryptocurrency.
BuyCoins requires identity confirmation and has a guide for sending cryptocurrency on their app.
Bitcoin transactions are facilitated by processors like BTC Pay. It’s got some press today after the Feminist Coalition, a ladies’s group in Nigeria at the leading edge of the #EndSARS movement started using it to receive contributions.
Just like any digital product, it ‘d be wise to acquaint yourself with whichever app you opt for before undertaking deals.
Thanks to Maywa Tudonu, a Nigeria-based blockchain engineer, for clarifying some aspects of Bitcoin operations for this Factsheet.