, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 1 – National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich is this week expected to apprise the national assembly on the existence of crypto-currency otherwise known as Bitcoin in Kenya.
The CS who is lined up to appear before National Assembly Finance and Trade Committee on Tuesday has been asked to provide the identity of the founders of the currency and how it operates in the financial markets.
In his request for a statement, Molo MP Kimani Kuria, further wants Rotich to explain to the committee the regulations the government has in place for crypto-currencies and the risks associated.
The First East African Bitcoin ATM was installed in Nairobi mid last month to enable users to purchase crypto-currencies using both dollars and Kenyan shillings.
Digital currencies are becoming more popular in Kenya, despite warnings from experts and the Central Bank of Kenya Governor Patrick Njoroge who have voiced their concerns.
“Let us understand the opportunities, the pros and cons that crypto-currencies bring along before we fully plunge along. We are not anti-innovation; we are not anti crypto-currency. We support innovation but are concerned about the impact on financial instability and the inherent risks,” Njoroge stated in past press conference on the matter.
In January 2016, ICT Secretary Joe Mucheru quit the board of Bitcoin dealer BitPesa and begun offloading his shares in the digital currency platform to avoid a possible conflict of interest.
Mucheru, who immediately after he was sworn into office on December 18, 2016 put his shares at BitPesa on sale, said he does not want to preside over an industry where he has financial interests that may prejudice his decisions.
The ICT Cabinet Secretary at the time asked the CBK and lawmakers to develop regulations to govern the use of crypto-currencies likening it to the advent of pioneer mobile money platform M-PESA which was viewed with suspicion at its birth in March 2007.