NAIROBI, Kenya, May 10 – The Institute of Investment and Financial Analysts (ICIFA) will host a three day workshop on Cryptocurrencies (blockchain) and Forex Online Trading in the region.
The workshop, slated for the 22nd to 24th of May at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies (KSMS) will deliberate on the potential disruptions to the banking sector and other ramifications that will accompany alternative investment avenues that have been growing in currency over the last couple of months.
“Despite the media frenzy on cryptocurrency and forex online trading, an overwhelming majority of practitioners in the financial sector who should guide investors often fail to appreciate essential concepts like what is cryptocurrency, what are the pros and cons of cryptocurrencies, what potential disruptions blockchain technology portends for the banking and the financial markets,” said Job Kihumba, the chairman of ICIFA who is also the executive director of Standard Investment Bank and a former chief executive of Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE).
“It is important that we have a clear industry guideline on these issues so that our members can be better able to advise investors and also offer a lead in legislation and policy formulation in these subjects.”
A recent report by Citibank stated that Kenyans have accumulated holdings of bitcoins estimated at more than Sh163 billion- 2.3 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP).
The report ranked Kenya as the fifth highest bitcoins holder per capita in the world.
Russia and Nigeria were ranked first and third respectively while South Africa took the sixth place.
Capital Markets Authority (CMA) estimates that about 50,000 people, including brokers, dealers and money managers, are in the business and are mainly using offshore platforms that are not overseen by Kenyan regulators.
In addition, online Forex traders in Kenya are participating in the global currency market through foreign registered brokers who provide the link to clearing centres in Europe, Asia and the US.
“Such loopholes pose a lot of risks to investors and the financial system and it is important that we address the concerns and find a way forward,” said Kihumba.