Abc News has published a report detailing the rising popularity of bitcoin among the citizenry of the Ugandan capital city of Kampala. The report describes many Ugandan bitcoin adopters as professionals seeking a supplementary income, in addition to jobless millennials seeking a means to escape a life of minimal economic opportunity.
Ugandan Citizens Embrace Bitcoin
Stephen Kaboyo of Ugandan financial services firm Alpha Capital Partners, states that “it is not wise to dismiss cryptocurrencies at this stage.” Cryptocurrency investors must understand the risks before investing in “a hugely speculative asset,” Mr. Kaboyo added.
Moses Semulya, a doctor working at a hospital Kampala, describes bitcoin as offering several advantages to using local currency. “I used to want to buy medical equipment online but it was becoming hard,” Mr. Semulya said. “Transacting online is very expensive in Uganda with all the fees. Bitcoin is changing that, making things easier and faster.”
“Right now I would rather invest in bitcoin and watch this space rather than buying a plot of land,” Mr. Semulya added.
Local restaurant owner, Jennifer Birungi, also accepts bitcoin at her business. Mrs. Birungi states that he put it “on the menu” in order gain greater familiarity with virtual currencies.
Crypto Skepticism Wanes
Richard M. Bagorogo, a Ugandan bitcoin miner who appears to operate a mining scheme, preaches “the gospel of bitcoin” to a small local audience. Mr. Bagorogo claims to have “earned in one-and-a-half years from bitcoin” than what he “earned in the years as a teacher. I am living on bitcoin because getting a job in this country is not easy.” Mr. Bagorogo states that as a teacher, he could not afford to send his children to the international school in which he taught. Thanks to bitcoin, he now claims to have recently holidayed in Dubai, and to be providing financial assistance to his father.
Mr. Bagorogo recounts encountering considerable skepticism when he first got involved with bitcoin. “When I tried to bring my cousins on board, they called my father in the village and said, ‘Your son has gone mad’. For me, I was fascinated by the mathematics behind blockchain technology.”
Despite the gradually growing interest in bitcoin among Ugandans, Mr. Bagorogo states that “the local man is interested in money, not the mathematics,” adding that he will “normally sit with them and show them how I get and withdraw my money.”
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