Kenyan Farmers Now Using Cryptocurrency as CBN Ban on Bitcoin, Others Remain

Kenyan Farmers Now Using Cryptocurrency as CBN Ban on Bitcoin, Others Remain

  • Kenyan farmers have started using cryptocurrency to trade among themselves in order to save their official currency, shilling
  • The farmers are not using the popular cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin as Safaru, a crypto, was created to enable community inclusion
  • Cryptocurrency remains restricted in Nigeria since the Central Bank of Nigeria told banks to stop providing service to crypto exchanges

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Amid cryptocurrency ban in Nigeria, Kenyan farmers are utilising the digital coin's popularity to sell and buy farm goods in a community called Kilifi.

The Central Bank of Nigeria had directed banks to shutdown any account with links to cryptocurrency and not conduct business with crypto exchanges - but the digital coin is thriving in Kenya.

What you need to know about the cryptocurrency Kenyan farmers use

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While the most popular cryptocurrencies are bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripples, Dogecoin, the farmers in the East African country are using Sarafu, which is described as a community inclusion cryptocurrency.

Kenyan Farmers are now buying and selling farm items with cryptocurrency, Safaru
A female farmer in the farm. Photo: YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP
Source: Getty Images

Sarafu cryptocurrency was developed by Will Ruddick, an American economist. The crypto is similar to voucher, and anyone can enroll to become a user with a Kenyan mobile phone line.

It is officially used to exchange goods and services without the use of Kenyan currency. A first time user gets 50 sarafu for free, and earn upon enrollment.

Why Kenyan farmers are using cryptocurrency

According to Emmanuel Kahindi, a farmer from Kilifi, he said the use of Sarafu enables them to save their fiat while trading with the cryptocurrency.

VOA reported that Sarafu is used to purchase seeds, fertilizer and other garden items needed by the farmers, as Ruddick targets low-income urban individuals.

He stated that the incorporation of the cryptocurrency into the business transactions of farmers helps to fill the gap left by the national currency.

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Ruddick stated that people said there isn't availability of Kenyan shilling, hence the importance of Safaru as a fall back currency option for trade.

CBN to create it's own cryptocurrency for Nigerians

In related news, the Central Bank of Nigeria will develop its own digital currency for Nigerians amid ban on bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies within the country.

It has been about six months since the financial regulator in Nigeria ordered banks to shut any account trading bitcoin and any crypto.

In a bid to regulate the cryptocurrency market, Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor, is planning to launch a government-backed virtual currency in October.


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