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‘Please Lock Me Up If Kenya Buys Bitcoin with its Reserves,’ Says Governor, Central Bank of Kenya

In the recent past, the Governor has raised doubts about the use cases of crypto, even asking what problem they are trying to solve. 

 

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor, Patrick Njoroge, has admitted that some people have asked him to ‘put the country’s reserves in Bitcoin.’

In a question and answer session with newly elected members of parliament, the Governor however pointed out that such would be 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

In the recent past, the Governor has raised doubts about the use cases of crypto, even asking what problem they are trying to solve. Nonetheless, Kenyans continue to showcase an open-minded approach with continued adoption.

As a recap, here is the CBK’s position on digital currencies as of 2022:

  • Crypto is not legal as a currency in the country
  • CBK is exploring the use of CBDCs for cross-border transactions
  • Kenya has stressed on inter-Central Bank cooperation when it comes to CBDCs
  • CBDCs are also in response to ‘mushrooming private cryptocurrencies’

However, according to a Library of Congress database, Kenya is one of only two countries in Africa with some type of taxation framework for cryptocurrencies, with neither partial nor total crypto bans.

Still,, while addressing the members of the Kenyan Parliament, the Governor blamed rogue traders in some Kenyan banks who were ‘doing their thing’ for the pressure on the country’s declining forex balances. The Governor also linked these rogue activities to the political period of the concluded Kenyan elections over the last 3 months.

According to the Governor, the Kenya Shilling has started to readjust downwards following the completion of the political process. Mr. Njoroge also expects inflation to drop, noting that fuel prices will be going down.

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