CIO East Africa (Nairobi)

8 July 2014

Kenya: You Can Now Use Bitcoin to Buy a Villa in Nairobi

Villas in Loresho Ridge area of Nairobi have been put up on sale, but in an unorthodox manner: the houses have been made available for purchase by use of Bitcoin (an online currency) as an alternative payment, through the online Bitcoin market place (BitPremier).

The villas on sale - Fahari Villas - are situated on a cul-de-sac on the highest point of the Loresho Ridge gated community in Nairobi. There are 12 units in total with private landscaped gardens. Each of the houses is sitting on a parcel of land measuring approximately 460 square meters. The houses have 4 bedrooms, 2 parking slots per unit and 265 square meters of total built-up area. The prices of the properties are indicated on the website and are listed as follows: Bitoin retail price of Ƀ 806.452 and in $500,000.00 which is equivalent Kshs 42.5 million.

A brief description from BitPremier, advertising the houses, states that they put the houses on sale with different payment options, "as people have different financial needs and live different lifestyles."

"The gated community is perfectly created with the aim of attracting would-be home owners interested in investing in their future, bearing in mind the different needs and abilities of each potential customer. To this end, there is a range of housing options that are guaranteed to appeal to your lifestyle and budget," reads the statement on the BitPremier webpage.

Bitcoins are created as a reward for payment processing work in which users offer their computing power to verify and record payments into the public ledger. Called mining, individuals or companies engage in this activity in exchange for transaction fees and newly created Bitcoins. Besides mining, Bitcoins can be obtained in exchange for fiat money, products, and services. Users can send and receive Bitcoins electronically for an optional transaction fee using wallet software on a personal computer, mobile device, or a web application.

Bitcoin is a software-based payment system developed by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008, and introduced as open-source software in 2009. The payments in the system are recorded in a public ledger using its own unit of account, which is also called Bitcoin.

The block chain is a shared public ledger on which the entire Bitcoin network relies. And payments work peer-to-peer without a central repository or single administrator.

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