Kenyan Official Calls for the Tokenization of the Country’s Economy

Bitange Ndemo, chairman of Kenyan’s Taskforce on Distributed Ledgers and Artificial Intelligence, has recently called for the tokenization of the country’s economy while speaking at a meeting with the Information and Communication Technology Ministry (ICT).

According to local news outlet The Star, Ndemo advised the country’s government to “tokenize” the economy to “deal with increasing rates of corruption and uncertainties.” The task force he’s in is government-funded, and was established in March to assess whether Kenya is “ready for blockchain technology”

During the meeting, Ndemo reportedly argued tokenizing the economy wouldn’t just help fight corruption, but would also help “reduce unemployment levels.” He was quoted as saying:

We must begin to tokenise the economy by giving incentives to young people to do things which they are paid through tokens that can be converted to Fiat currency.

These tokens, Ndemo argued, should be a digital currency equivalent to the country’s fiat currency, the shilling. Per The Star, the task force had in July proposed the creation of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) to the ICT.

The official added, however, that the task force isn’t “very enthusiastic [about a CBDC] at the moment” as it’s first necessary to help the country’s citizens understand how to use tokens. Jerome Ochieng, head of the ICT, revealed the government will “facilitate relevant policies to help regulate recommendations from the Taskforce.”

The task force has made other suggestions, which include the introduction of a “government certifies to authenticate goods before being released to the market,” a use for blockchain technology being explored by various organizations throughout the world.

The Kenyan government’s approach is notable, however, as it makes it one of the various countries throughout the world exploring a CBDC. Earlier this year, as CryptoGlobe reported, the country’s central bank issued a warning against bitcoin.

In it, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) cited security and a lack of transparency as its main reasons to “blacklist” cryptocurrencies. Per the warning, cryptocurrencies could be used to finance terrorism or launder money, and as such Kenyans were advised not to deal with them.