Bitcoin is the world’s famous cryptocurrency that has since traded at a lifetime high of over $61,000 (KES 6.7 million per Bitcoin).
Sunday morning, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for ICT Innovation and Youth Affairs Mr. Joe Mucheru tweeted in awe of Bitcoin, the reactions were expected.
Is anyone following this rise of bitcoin? Sometimes calculated risks can surprise and surpass all expectations..Mungu Mbele .. pic.twitter.com/Sa9iFdrvlo
— Joe Mucheru EGH (@mucheru) March 14, 2021
Kenya doesn’t have a policy, has not communicated that it will have one, on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.
In 2015, the country’s Central Bank warned Crypto enthusiasts about dealing in Cryptocurrencies particularly Bitcoin.
This is to inform the public that virtual currencies such as Bitcoin are not legal tender in Kenya and therefore no protection exists in the event that the platform that exchanges or holds the virtual currency fails or goes out of business. Some of the risks associated with buying, holding or trading virtual currencies include the following:
- Transactions in virtual currencies such as bitcoin are largely untraceable and anonymous making them susceptible to abuse by criminals in money laundering and financing of terrorism.
- Virtual currencies are traded in exchange platforms that tend to be unregulated all over the world. Consumers may therefore lose their money without having any legal redress in the event these exchanges collapse or close business.
- There is no underlying or backing of assets and the value of virtual currencies is speculative in nature. This may result in high volatility in value of virtual currencies thus exposing users to potential losses.
– Central Bank of Kenya, 2015, Click me to read the full CBK statement.
Despite the warning by CBK, Kenya is among the top traders in cryptocurrencies in Africa.
Fast-forward to 2021, Mucheru who is former Google Kenya CEO must have some holdings in the cryptocurrency as per the excitement that could be read from his tweet.
He was however attacked, rightly so.
The ironic thing is that the dude tweeting here is the Minister of IT yet his docket has no formal policy on cryptocurrency. ???? hii serikali lakini! https://t.co/VWqSSk8MCO
— Jasiri (@Jasiri_BFM) March 14, 2021
smh…bitpesa was removed from the kenyan market and yet they provided bitcoin to mpesa services. Tafakari hayo. https://t.co/2s9zzD2SmK
— Trial by Fire (@iKaizoku_) March 14, 2021
Just help us push it mainstream, tweeting hapa bila actions pia itakuwa kazi bure… Mungu mbele https://t.co/gvmtMWp2Lh
— Douglas Ayela (@dougieayela) March 14, 2021
If only the local players like CMA CBK would allow crypto products. Have a talk with them waziri https://t.co/61dvhLOtjC
— Eric Jackson (@Jayriq) March 14, 2021
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