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Kenyan Senate is spearheading talks with CBK to legalize crypto


The Kenyan Senate has taken a proactive step to engage the Central Bank in discussions that could see the country legalize the use of crypto as a legal tender.

The discussions are spearheaded by Senate Standing Committee on Information, Communication, and Technology led by Trans Nzoia Senator Allan Chesang.

In February last year, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) published a Discussion Paper on Central Bank Digital Currency.  In the Paper, the CBK highlighted the need, opportunities, and risks presented by digital currencies in Kenya.

The regulatory framework is expected to explore a large pool of digital payments such as electronic money (e-money), cryptocurrency, stable coin, and Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). CBK defines CBDC) as a digital currency issued by the central bank and intended to serve as legal tender. It is the same as a fiat currency and is exchangeable one-to-one with the fiat currency, only that it is in electronic form.

Through the Discussion Paper, the Central Bank further invited members of the public, industry and stakeholders to review the various observations therein and give appropriate feedback. The Senate committee is now looking to push these deliberations further

“While considering the response received from the CBK regarding the Committee’s inquiry on digital assets infrastructure in Kenya at Parliament Buildings, the Members of the Committee emphasized the need to have a laid down policy that governs the Central Bank Digital Currency and crypto assets in the country to ensure Kenya harnesses the benefits of financial innovation while minimizing the risks,”a statement from the Senate Committee said.

The involvement of these stakeholders is a bold step toward regulation. CBK had in January last year issued a stern warning against crypto The change of stance is timely and reflects the institution’s readiness to adopt with changing times.

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Simon W Nderitu

Simon is a tech enthusiast who keeps a close eye on emerging technologies, startups and the general business environment. You will often catch him totally immersed and drooling over Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, IoT and just about any other tech that promises to revolutionize the way we live. Send tips to snderitu@techtrendske.co.ke

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