The Blockchain Association of Kenya wants Parliament to regulate cryptocurrency after several global investors lost their investments.
Crypto players, on Tuesday, added that the lack of laws to regulate the industry in the country could be a conduit for the illicit flow of funds.
Kenyans were among global investors who lost their transactions on Monday, November 7, after reports emerged that a crypto firm formed in March 2022 and valued at Ksh3.9 trillion ($32 billion) was battling liquidation.
BAK thus wants the National Assembly Committee on Finance and National Planning to develop policies to monitor, track, and flag suspicious website transactions.
Blockchain Association of Kenya members appear before the National Assembly Committee on Finance and National Planning on October 31, 2023.
Parliament of Kenya
Kenya currently does not legally recognize cryptocurrency and blockchain, and the trade is prohibited.
“Members, we need to consider regulating this sector. I reckon that if we do not, the contagion effect will be more adverse than if we did it”, Molo MP Kuria Kimani and the chair of the committee stated in response to the request by the crypto players.
The association, in its petition, clarified to the committee that when well-regulated, blockchain can raise Kenyans’ potential as well as spark development.
Kenya transacted a total transaction of Ksh3 trillion worth of crypto assets between July 2021 and June 2022 and was ranked number 19 in the global crypto adoption index.
This makes Kenya the third most active country in cryptocurrency asset trade and has recorded the highest web traffic to crypto sites in Africa
However, analyzed data on investors in cryptocurrencies in 95 countries between 2015 and 2022 concluded that three-quarters of people who invested in bitcoin have lost their investment, and Kenyans are no exemption as per economists at the Bank of International Settlements.
Kimani underscored the need to understand the trade, urging committee members not to ignore cryptocurrency trade as the world was fast embracing it alongside other technological products.
“I find that blockchain technology is akin to the evolution of digital money a few years ago. When mobile was introduced, we were all apprehensive as we did not comprehend the technology behind it. See how much it has grown,” Kimani commented.
So far, only Mauritius and Botswana in Africa have enacted laws to regulate cryptocurrency.
Molo MP Kuria Kimani (left) leads the National Assembly Committee on Finance and National Planning members in a meeting with Block Chain Association of Kenya officials on Tuesday, October 31, 2023