Buying bitcoin in Zimbabwe is becoming easier. You can now buy bitcoin in Zimbabwe using a bot called lnp2pBot released by the messaging app, Telegram. In addition, you can receive, exchange and send bitcoin to other wallets for free using the same app.
Zimbabwe used to lead in bitcoin adoption in Africa. Before it shut down in 2019, Golix, local crypto exchange, used to handle over one million US dollars worth of trade in a month and used to have 50,000 subscribers locally.
Fearing that bitcoin will facilitate foreign currency exportation without its control, Zimbabwe's government declared bitcoin as illegal tender in Zimbabwe. Moreover, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe also issued some warnings regarding the usage of Bitcoin noting that any Zimbabwean who trades, invests, or participates in any transactions related to cryptocurrency will not have any legal protection.
Bitcoin is a decentralised cryptocurrency that works without the need of a central authority such as central banks.
How to Buy Bitcoin with Telegram
To use the new feature, lnp2pBot, you need to open the Telegram messenger and search for “wallet”. Open the Telegram’s wallet bot, click “/start” and select "buy" option.
Alternatively, you can access the feature by clicking here.
You need to add the bot to the menu by clicking "add attachment to menu" to easily access it from any chat window.
Apart from buying bitcoin, you can also send, receive or deposit bitcoin using Telegram for free.
For any of the supported options to work, you need to publish your order using the "/buy" or "/sell" command and follow the instructions.
You have to wait for another user to pick your request. You can also pick other users orders with buy or sell buttons.
If you are selling the bot will publish the order in the Lightnining Network (Lightining networks enables cheaper and faster bitcoin transactions) in the expectation that another user takes the order. You can cancel this sell order anytime BEFORE another user takes it with the "/cancel" command.
Once you take an order to buy bitcoin, the bot will ask you to pay the Lightning Network invoice, such payment will be held, the order will expire in a maximum lapse of 1380 minutes starting when the order was taken. The bot will reveal who you are to the seller so they can send instructions for the fiat payment to be made. Once they receive the fiat payment, they will send bitcoin to you using the "/release" command.
If you go to "My Wallet" button, you will see options for depositing, withdrawing, exchanging and buy crypto by card.
We strongly advice you to keep your bitcoin in a non custodial wallet (wallet that you have full control of the private keys) as opposed to custodial wallets. Once you have received bitcoin in your Telegram wallet, you can easily send to your personal bitcoin wallet. Custodial wallets are wallets whose private keys are held by a third party. As it is said in the bitcoin community, "Not your keys, not your bitcoin."
Telegram Bitcoin Bot Use Case in Zimbabwe
Ecocash new foreign currency wallet, combined with Telegram bitcoin bot may offer a solution to Zimbabweans inability to on-ramp and off-ramp into bitcoin.
- Local businesses can now start accepting bitcoin payments by using the bot without risking business profitability due to Zimbabwe's hyperinflation.
- Individuals can now sell bitcoin to anyone around the world and receive funds through EcoCash foreign currency wallet.
- Zimbabweans can easily buy bitcoin using Telegram's peer to peer network without having to use a cryptocurrency exchange.
- You can exchange cryptocurrencies.