Kenya prepares a bill to safeguard digital assets
The Blockchain Association of Kenya (BAK) has released the country's first draft Virtual Assets Service Provider (VASP) Bill for Kenya's digital asset market.
The move comes three months after Kenyan MPs directed the industry lobby group to draft a bill to regulate crypto currency in the country.
Kenya's digital asset industry has been plagued by consumer protection concerns such as frauds, barriers to entry for digital asset startups and businesses, and an onerous tax regime on digital assets.
The draft bill addresses industry, consumer, and regulator concerns by proposing a licencing framework, a consumer protection framework, anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) provisions, and a regulatory sandbox.
BAK is inviting all stakeholders affected by the bill from Kenya, Africa and the rest of the world to review, comment and offer feedback by February 7th.
After that, BAK will revise and incorporate feedback into the next iteration of the bill and deliver it to the National Assembly’s Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning by February 14th, the same committee that tasked the association to develop the draft bill.
Michael Kimani, founder and BAK chairman said “Since our organisation was founded in 2017, we have dreamt to see Kenya elevate its status to a digital asset hub, alongside other jurisdictions like Singapore and Dubai. The draft bill is a significant step in realising our vision.”
Regulation of digital assets has been a contentious topic in recent years, with developed nations such as the United States, Hong Kong, and Singapore setting the tone for reining in an industry that mainstream financial regulators regard as the Wild West.
In Africa, countries such as Nigeria and South Africa have already implemented legislation to govern the industry, which is viewed as facilitating capital flight and giving opportunities for illegal activities such as money laundering.
The proposed bill by BAK, if passed, the measure will result in a significant increase in tax income for Kenya's National Treasury.
“Digital assets and blockchain present an opportunity for the Kenyan Government to tap into new ways of fundraising investment into the country to support Kenya’s economic recovery. Our goal is to help Kenya raise $1 billion in foreign direct investments to various sectors as outlined in Kenya's medium-term economic plan by 2027,”said Paul Gachora, BAK co-founder and CEO.