Molo MP wants cryptocurrencies regulated, CS Rotich says its hard to monitor digital coins

July 3, 2018 (2 weeks ago)
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National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich was, however, hesitant to respond on the government’s capacity to monitor and regulate cryptocurrency transactions/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, July 3 –  Molo Constituency Member of Parliament Kimani Kuria wants cryptocurrencies such as bitcoins to be regulated due to risks associated with digital currencies.

Kuria says that the mere fact that cryptocurrencies transactions are anonymous, digital currencies can easily be used by corrupt government officials seeking to hide fraudulent money.

“A person who has billions of money acquired wrongly needs only to buy several bitcoins which can store value in a system that lacks centralized outsight. He then could go to another country, recover his money and move on with life,” Kuria said.

While responding to questions posed by the National Assembly Finance and Planning Committee, National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich was, however, hesitant to respond on the government’s capacity to monitor and regulate cryptocurrency transactions conducted within the Kenyan borders.

“Unlike other investment avenues, cryptocurrencies are not regulated by any government authorities. Due to their unregulated nature, limited understanding of the cryptocurrencies and the influx of companies engaging in it, it is prone to abuse by criminals, terrorists and extortionists who are taking advantage of the unregulated space,” Rotich said.

In essence, cryptocurrencies mainly rely on complex infrastructures that involve several entities, often spread across several counties, to transfer funds or execute payments.

“This segmentation of services means that responsibility for Anti-money laundering or combating the financing of terrorism compliance and enforcement may be unclear,” Rotich said.

“Moreover, customer and transaction records may be held by different entities, often in different jurisdictions, making it more difficult for law enforcement and regulators to access them. This problem is worsened by the rapidly evolving nature of decentralized cryptocurrency technology and business models.”

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