My name is Michael Kimani and I wear different hats as consultant, entrepreneur, digital assets trader, researcher and writer on blockchain assets, a radically new technology with vast opportunities for entrepreneurs, legacy financial institutions, FinTechs, mobile operators, regulators, companies, communities and the people of East Africa. I have 5 years experience in the cryptocurrency industry having been one of the earliest adopters, pioneers and vocal advocates of blockchain assets.
Since first coming across Bitcoin in 2011, a second time in 2012 and a third time in 2013, I have committed my full energy and time in community building, educating, promoting, and exploring cryptocurrency opportunities in Kenya for young East Africans culminating in adoption by 100,000 users in Kenya and the largest cryptocurrency blockchain community in Africa.
Over the years, I have been featured on BBC Radio, CNN, French24 TV and Fast Company for my relentless efforts advocating cryptocurrencies and open blockchain technologies.
Right after graduating in 2014, I traded grain derivatives on Chicago’s Mercantile Exchange for Futures First’s proprietary desk, before moving to trade digital assets. I would later consult independently for BitPesa , a pioneer digital currency startup in Nairobi on digital currency products for young East Africans.
I joined Emerging Futures Lab as a user research associate, where I had a great 2 year experience working with an extremely talented multi-cultural team of Niti Bhan and Rinku Ganjera. We worked on East Africa’s informal sector, social savings groups, digital financial services and informal cross border trade for a trade development agency. I picked up a great deal on how to build products, services and policy that resonates with East African consumers.
In 2016 I joined a founding team at Umati Blockchain Ltd. that raised $40,000 from Chitra Capital for a pioneer on demand crypto assets gateway. As CEO, I led user research, sales and business development for Umati Blockchain Ltd.
A year later, I joined Itay Malinski and another founding team at Cryptovest – a cryptocurrency and blockchain industry focused media centre from Ukraine, as a news reporter and researcher for what would turn out to be an invaluable learning experience. I sharpened my writing and communication skills.
Sometime in 2017 it became clear there was a void in East Africa. So I led a group of young Kenyan entrepreneurs in the blockchain industry to form the Blockchain Association of Kenya, a non-profit advocacy society spearheading blockchain and cryptocurrency adoption across the African continent.
So far, my passion, experience and unique perspectives on an emerging industry have inspired a generation of young Africans. I am grateful for the dozens of opportunities to present and speak to audiences, sit on panels and share my thoughts on cryptocurrencies.
Whenever I find the energy, I put down my crystallized thoughts on kioneki blog, guest blogging on Kenyan Wallstreet, Techweez, the Daily Nation and any other publication that will have me. I’ve also managed to build a decent following on my twitter @pesa_africa
Right now, I am excited to be part of the team at Chamapesa, a landmark African project empowering social savings groups known as Chamas across Africa, using blockchain technology. It has been an incredible journey to date, and I can’t wait to change the world with Chamapesa. Look out world!