Kenya is finally softening its stance on blockchain technology
Kenya has for years regarded blockchain technology and digital currencies with suspicion, comparing bitcoin to a “pyramid scheme,” and emphasizing that it had no legal footing.
That wariness has been shared by the governments of Egypt, Nigeria, and Tanzania, and by giant telecom operators such as Safaricom—35% of which is owned by the Kenyan government—which terminatedbitcoin trading platforms like Kipochi from using their dominant mobile money service M-Pesa.
But Kenya softened its stance last week, and announced that the government is setting up an 11-member task force that will study the benefits and challenges associated with blockchain technologies. The directive came days after president Uhuru Kenyatta said the nation needed to explore the opportunities in the new technology, especially in sectors such as land, where creating foolproof digital registries could forestall malpractice and parallel ownership.
Photo courtesy of Christian Ditaputratama.