Inside the world of a Kenyan cryptocurrency miner

Africans in Tech East Africa

Eugene Mutai is well aware of the risks of mining virtual money. “Sometimes I ask myself: will the bubble pop? “He’s right to be, cryptocurrencies are volatile. That hasn’t stopped him from operating in this shadowy and controversial corner of the global financial system. A few years ago Mutai was working odd jobs on farms in rural Kenya. Now he’s a cryptocurrency miner in Nairobi. His apartment where he mines, is dimly lit blue and drowned with the low drone of a self-made cryptocurrency computer rig.

Mutai began researching cryptocurrencies last year. “I was curious about what was making these alternative coins drive. “Bitcoin was hard to mine by that point in time,” Mutai tells CNN. There were already many Bitcoin miners. Instead, Mutai started mining Ethereum, a similar but less well-known cryptocurrency. For Mutai, internet-based currencies are revolutionary. They open up a world of finance that might not have been accessible for a self-taught tech-obsessed kid from Kenya with no college degree. It’s also a nefarious world of online hucksters and frauds. And that’s the chance Mutai takes. Is the gamble worth it? Continue reading

Eugene Mutai in his front room with his self-built cryptocurrency mining machine.
Photo credit CNN

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