Eugene Mutai’s Nairobi apartment is filled with the sound of money: That would be the hum of a phalanx of fans cooling the computers he’s programmed to mine cryptocurrencies around the clock.
The 28-year-old has given up a chunk of his living quarters to the enterprise. What’s more, he invests every spare cent in initial-coin offerings: fundraising tools some startups are using to crowdsource capital. He’s a proud citizen of a strange and controversial new world — and a rather rare breed, with just a high-school education and no formal training as a coder. That’s one thing he holds up as proof that cryptofinance isn’t the scam that a diversity of critics, from Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase & Co. to Saudi Arabian Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, have suggested it is.