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Instructions from Kenyan Government to Local Blockchain Association for Bill Draft

The Kenyan parliament has directed the Blockchain Association of Kenya (BAK) to draft the country’s first comprehensive cryptocurrency regulation bill.

The Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning summoned BAK representatives on October 30, 2023 to discuss regulating digital assets. According to BAK’s legal and policy director, Allan Kakai, the committee gave the association two months to prepare the bill after being told that Kenya risked losing capital inflows to other African countries with clearer crypto frameworks.

This marks the first time a Kenyan parliamentary committee has ordered an industry association to write legislation for review and potential approval. Kakai stated that bank, fintech, digital lenders and other associations have never received such a directive.

The push for legislation comes after Kenya introduced a 3% tax on crypto transfers and exchanges under the new Financial Act 2023 in September. BAK unsuccessfully lobbied against the tax earlier this year and has since challenged it in the High Court of Kenya.

Some Kenyan officials have taken a hardline stance on cryptocurrencies lately. A parliamentary committee called for shutting down operations of the controversial digital ID crypto project Worldcoin over privacy concerns, despite it being co-founded by OpenAI CEO, Sam Altman.

While Nigeria, South Africa and other African nations making strides in crafting crypto regulations, MPs are urging BAK to demystify digital assets and help Kenya become a leader in the “Silicon Savannah.” The association has been asked to emphasize robust public education in its draft bill.

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