New York/Nairobi — 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 has 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 that some start-ups 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, to Saudi Arabian Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, have suggested it is. "The entire ecosystem could be the biggest wealth-distribution system ever," Mutai said. In the world of internet-based currencies traded without interference from banks or regulators, "big players can’t ...

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