Interest in cryptocurrency and blockchain technology has been steadily growing throughout African nations for some time.
The United Nations has now advised Kenya to integrate blockchain technology as a way of tackling the illegal drugs trade, corruption, and other criminal enterprises. A report issued by the UN drugs and crime task force has recommended blockchain because of its transparency and immutability.
It is believed that Kenya loses billions of dollars every year through government corruption and other financial crimes. The UN anti-corruption and crimes advisor David Robinson said that “blockchain is a tool that can be used to potentially prevent corruption and protect public registries from fraud and tampering”.
This comes at a time when the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) is considering creating their own digital currency which will link to each individual’s identity, creating a more trusted and stable financial system.
This is a sharp turnaround from the report issued by the CBK in 2015, where they warned against the use of cryptocurrencies.
Although the CBK may still feel that allowing the use of Bitcoin and other popular cryptocurrencies as legal tender may still carry far too much risk; having their own digital currency – backed by the bank – may offer a solution to the growing demand for digital assets among the nations people.
There are in fact several countries around the world who are looking to use blockchain technology as means to reduce the financial options available to criminal organisations and deals made ‘under the table’ by corrupt officials.
As more financial regulations are introduced surrounding cryptocurrencies, the potential of what blockchain could offer to our economic systems is now beginning to be explored.
This recent recommendation by the UN will hopefully go a long way toward the adoption of cryptocurrency and blockchain in Kenya; allowing people to transact more safely and transparently, and bringing greater financial security to those who had none.