The crypto world is growing as more institutions and governments take a look at this nascent sector. The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor said that the bank is ‘already feeling left out.’ CBK has reportedly taken up discussions with international central banks to look into the possibility of entering the central bank digital currency (CBDC) space.
Dr. Patrick Njoroge, CBK governor, told reporters in Georgetown’s DC Fintech week that:
“We [the CBK] are already having discussions with other global players, in various ways, around the introduction of Central Bank Digital Currencies. The push comes as a result of mushrooming of private cryptocurrencies and we are already feeling left out and need to create our own space.”
According to Dr. Njoroge, the CBK must keep a keen eye on the space that private sector cryptos are targeting. The Central Bank of Kenya governor said that money laundering and financing of illegal activities as a central concern for the institution.
Nonetheless, he appeared less convinced that the trend around the world is shifting constantly towards a cashless society which characterizes developments as turning to a ‘less-cash’ environment.
Dr. Njoroge openly referred to the continuing global research into how a central bank digital currency could become available to the general public. The governor appears to have positioned CBDCs in direct competition with decentralized coins. However, he expressed a dismissive opinion of bitcoin terming it simply as a speculation tool.
While he finds the underlying blockchain impressive, he believes that it is still an invention that is seeking out a challenge to solve. With crypto trading surging in Africa, local entrepreneurs are getting ready, though with cautious optimism, for a possible rollout of more robust regulation.
Stephany Zoo of Kenya-based exchange Bitpesa said in September that there is a risk of heavy-handed intervention which might stifle growth. Nevertheless, better integration with the traditional financial systems may act as a boost for the crypto industry.