The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor, Patrick Njoroge, has admitted that he was asked several times by some individuals which he did not name to ‘put the country’s reserves in Bitcoin.’
In a question and answer session with newly elected members of parliament on September 19th, the Governor however pointed out that in his opinion that have been an unwise move, and he would have to be out of his mind to do such a thing.
“I can assure that there are a lot of people who have been asking me to put our reserves in Bitcoin. If I do that please put me up in Kamiti (Max prison in Kenya) and throw away the key because I’ll be out of my mind.”– Governor, Central Bank of Kenya
Patrick Njoroge, the Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya, has in the past questioned the use case of blockchain and cryptocurrencies saying they lack a real use case.
In March while speaking during The 2021 Africa Financial Industry Summit by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank the Central Bank of Kenya Governor said that he had no problems with blockchain but he did not see what problems the technology was solving.
He said that rather than the CBK focusing on crypto and blockchain, the regulator as a policy maker was thinking about the post-COVID recovery, payment rails, lending, micro-insurance, and savings. An area he felt FinTech would do well.
“What we’re focusing on here is the democratization of financial services. I think FinTech would do that very well.” – Governor, CBK
The governor has, for the longest time, been a critic of cryptocurrencies in general which has seen the regulator impose restrictions and warnings to banks to stay away from cryptos.
Kenya Has The Highest Crypto Adoption Rate In Africa
Kenya has the largest share of its population with cryptocurrencies in Africa according to a United Nations report.
A report by United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) says that 8.5 percent of the population or 4.25 million people own cryptocurrencies in the country.
The report calls for the regulation of crypto currencies as they have become popular all over the world but are mostly unregulated.
As crypto-assets become more entrenched, countries are asked to consider regulating them to ensure financial stability and consumer protection.
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has however been on the forefront in trying to educate the public on the risks associated with investing in cryptocurrencies.
In February, CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge said that Cryptocurrencies are not legal tender in Kenya and warned the public of the risks associated with them.
“The CBK has not authorized any person or entity to undertake the business of cryptocurrency trading in Kenya. The public should therefore beware of the risks associated with cryptocurrencies,” he Said.
Kenyan Youth Turn To Crypto To Make A Living
With unemployment levels in Kenya at an all time high, many young people have turned to cryptocurrencies as a way to make a living.
One way they have been doing this is by buying and selling USDT a stablecoin that is pegged to the US Dollar.
They buy the USDT when the price is low and sell it when the price goes up to make a profit.
Some have even gone as far as setting up crypto trading companies that offer services to buy and sell cryptocurrencies for people who do not know how to trade.
A popular crypto trading platform has been Binance with it peer to peer function that allows people to buy and sell cryptocurrencies directly with each other.
With the high adoption of cryptocurrencies in Kenya, the young who are always the early adopters of technology are leading the way in driving the adoption of cryptocurrencies in the country and in the process have found a way to make a living.