How I Spent my Devcoins in Africa

Who I am


My Name is Samuel K Wilson, aged 35. I’ll comfortably say that before I discovered Devtome, I used to write, write and write, but I never typed a word.

Before you conclude that I am contradicting myself, let me inform you a bit about my background.

I come from one of the remotest corners of Africa!

By the time I happened to join a computer class, I was already 28, but I didn’t have a computer of my own—yet. You see, the sole reason why I got a passion for computers was Graphic Design: I was born an artist; that’s what I do to earn my living. I am a professional painter, illustrator and graphic designer; I’ve worked for church-based organizations since I was twenty-one. I got hobbies too, and my favourite is 3D and visual effects.

That aside, I had an addiction since I was thirteen: reading. By the time I was fifteen, I had digested more fiction that all my elder brothers combined. Reading ruled my days, and when carrying out my assigned chores which included looking after cattle, I was engrossed in fiction. When my parents bought me pens and pencils, I would try to illustrate the stories in comic form and that was one of the reasons why I joined a school of art in Nairobi, which shaped me into what I am today.

However, reading didn’t necessarily mean I was a qualified writer.

I used to write my stories with a pen and fill up my homework exercise books, and then illustrate them, color them and distribute them to my friends. I was good at writing lots and lots of plots, but not necessarily at constructing them professionally to form interesting, suspenseful stories. That has been a journey I am in up to date.

Back to the point above: I never typed a word—until I had owned a desktop computer and got used to typing, only then did I discover Devtome, quite by accident.

This happened when my family expenses began to sky-rocket, prompting me to look for extra sources of income. Being an ardent internet user (I have learnt all my 3D skills online.) I came across a scammer’s ad that proclaimed “work at home” opportunities. I clicked the ad but the copy seemed suspiciously outrageous, so I went to Google and typed a query “Legitimate work at home opportunities”. What I got shocked me: I had never imagined it would be possible to earn a dime online. After that discovery, I began the most tiring journey of trying to “make it” online, a 2-year quest marred by frustration which almost had me surrender. I am sure you may have gone through a similar process.


I started a blog and dove into affiliate marketing but soon the funds to shoulder hosting and auto-responder got depleted. Furthermore, I didn’t have enough money to advertise, so I was stuck ….

When I was about to quit, I came across free-lance sites that offered writing opportunities. I took grammar tests and passed in various sites but many factors hindered my success; I just couldn’t get work. By then, my eight-to-five job was barely able to meet the basic needs of my family; I was facing the most challenging time of my life.

Then I found it: a friend sent me a link to a blog which discussed about writing for Devtome, and instantly, I applied and got the chance. I remember my wife patting my back excitedly and congratulating me when I received my writing account from the admin.

Everything was blurry, learning about crypto-currencies in a continent—worse still—in a community that has never heard of bitcoins, leave alone the fact that one can earn money online. My friends used to look at me as if I had lost my mind, and my attempts to explain the concept to them bore no fruits. Some of them thought I was really brilliant—which I really am not—and when I had submitted my first lot (a 22-thousand word-count total) it took me almost three months to appear in the Devtome Countdown Clock. During this time, I ceased to write, sceptical as usual. When I finally found myself in the earnings list in round 35, it felt like achieving a gold medal; I was beaming all over when I discovered I had 18 shares under my belt! Now I had hope.

Then came the million-dollar question—or so it seemed: how on earth would I get cash out of my Devcoins ones I received them, considering that I was in rural Africa? All I found online were sites that couldn’t work for me in the third-world. The ones that shed some light involved PayPal and Escrow, but I was aware of possible reversal of PayPal transactions. That was a risk I couldn’t afford to take.


Meanwhile, the Devcoins kept flooding my humble little wallet. My friends thought I was performing some micro-miracle of some sort. Every day, the first thing I looked at after booting my PC was the Devcoin Wallet. At the end of June, I went to and registered, verified my account and traded my Devcoins for Bitcoins, which totalled to 0.4 BTC. The sight of that figure on my Multibit wallet gave me a feeling I can equate to what I see on my four-year-old twin boys’ faces when they get their birthday toys. At a value of $625, Bitcoin now seemed real to me—more than ever.

Not that $250 is a lot of money—at least not for someone from the first world. But believe it or not, in Africa, that amount can feed my family an entire month. There is the beautiful part of living in Africa, namely small cost of living (when you have some dollars clinging on to you) not to mention the weather and natural resources. Forget the image of poverty and all the bad press: think of a paradise, you have it in Africa.

As luck would have it, I found an exchange based in the UK that converts your Bitcoin to Kenyan Shillings and sends the money to your mobile phone account via the world-renowned “MPesa”, an East African mobile money transfer service. (Told you, the third world has a lot to offer!)

It was past ten in the evening when the money landed in my phone. Finally, real money had actually reached me—from the internet! Oh boy, didn’t that turn me into a believer! My friends and family were thrilled when I told them, now they had a reason to believe I was brilliant—which am not; obviously ‘lucky’ fits the situation more.


I had read about the importance of holding on to one’s Devcoins for a while, and I completely understand the logic. It’s what I intend to start doing in the long run.

However, I decided to withdraw it due to pressing family needs and I assure you, it certainly did help. Perhaps the most remarkable was the way Devcoin supplemented my salary to cater for school fees and medical expenses for my son. When I got my Devtome writing account in March, my son had just sustained a compound fracture and got hospitalized, discharged with a bill and resumed school. By the time I received the payment from Devtome three months later, my son was due for another surgery on his forearm, this time to remove the so-called “K-Wires” from his arm. Due to the fact that my health insurance couldn’t cover the entire bill, the Devcoins proved to be a godsend.


Below is a photo of my son after leaving the hospital, holding a Devcoin banner.


In conclusion, saying that Devtome has been great to me would be an understatement. I thank the administrators and founders of this cryptocurrency and it’s my hope that the project will continue to exist for long and make an impact on many lives, particularly of writers and open-source developers.

That said, I shouldn’t forget to add that I continue to write. Some of my articles are listed here:

This is my current fiction article: I would be grateful if you’d find time to criticize it; that would consequently go a long way in improving my writing skills.

Thanks to all who read this!

Arts | Writing | Society | Self-Help

QR Code
QR Code how_i_spent_my_devcoins_in_africa (generated for current page)