The next couple of weeks will put Kenya through a tough decision making process, one that will in more ways than one determine the future of the country’s economic growth and seal the deal on whether Africa’s 7th most populous Country will partake in the revolution of digital currencies
The Finance and National Planning Committee took Mr Rotich to task to explain why trade in bitcoins and other virtual currencies was taking place in the country. The committee sought to know why the Treasury and the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) allowed people to venture into the unregulated cryptocurrency space without being licensed to operate and taxed.
Joseph Limo, Chairman of the committee of planning and finance, Kenya, said,
“We are surprised to hear that even the CBK is not aware that there is a lounge at Kenyatta University, an ATM in town, and a hotel in Nyeri which trade in bitcoins. There is a bigger problem in Kenya since people are trading billions in virtual space yet the Treasury has not licensed and taxed it like trade in M-Pesa and bank transactions.”
Cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoins, are digital currencies that are not issued by a central government or State authority.
Mr Rotich told MPs that like any other developing technology, the government was yet to determine whether or not trade in cryptocurrencies will be allowed to thrive. He said discussions were ongoing globally to regulate the trade in virtual currency to minimise risks including money laundering.
“I am not aware of people operating locally. But I will endeavour to find out whether we have local exchangers. The issue of cryptocurrencies is evolving and we can take a position as a country. This is a delicate balance between supporting innovation and killing it,”
Upon realising the wonders of digital currency in other African countries through close evaluation and analysis, there stands a great possibility that Kenya might follow suit and recognize the financial breakthrough that Cryptocurrency presents.