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Kenya’s Financial Institutions Demand Approval of Blockchain-Based Financial Products

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Kenya’s financial institutions are soliciting the approval and licensing of blockchain-based products and services. Key industry players as well as market regulators in the financial sector seek for regulations and guidelines for virtual currencies, the blockchain, and online forex trading. The Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), Dr. Patrick Njoroge has already revealed that several applications from financial institutions in Kenya soliciting the approval and licensing of blockchain-based products and services have been sent to the central bank.

Patrick Njoroge Governor of CBK revealed at a conference of investment professionals, “A number of banks are currently working on products (and services) hinged on blockchain technology and we think that they offer a lot of promise. We are not anti-innovation or anti-cryptocurrency. We support innovation but are concerned about the impact on financial instability and the inherent risks. CBK is working with central banks all over the world to identify the risks and find ways to mitigate them. The weakest link is where problems in our financial system will start.”

Two months after Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for ICT, Joe Mucheru announced a blockchain taskforce that was created to give recommendations on how the government can leverage the blockchain Kenya’s financial institutions are soliciting for the approval of blockchain based products. The blockchain whose first known use case was cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin has been utilised over the years to help streamline the delivery of products and services in different sectors by individuals, governments and corporates.

Last year, Kenya’s Capital Markets Authority tried to curb the risks that are linked to online forex and cryptocurrency trading by issuing new regulations. Currently, there only exists one firm in the country that has an online foreign exchange license. Also, the National Treasury’s Director General, Public Investment and Portfolio Management, Esther Koimett, revealed, “Last year the government launched the M-Akiba Bond as an alternative way for Kenyans to invest in Government Securities. Such alternatives need to be encouraged.” Kenya is seeking for ways to improve her financial institutions through regulations and alternative investments. The chairman of the Public Sector Accounting Board (PSAB) by Lazarus Kimang, Bernard Ndung’u has expressed his concerns concerns about alternative investment schemes that would make people vulnerable to fraudsters and thereby make investment opportunities such as bitcoin difficult to access.

 

 

What do you think about the CBK will approve Blockchain based financial products? Share your opinion with us in the comment section below.
Image credit: pulselive

 

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Us Congressman admits that bitcoin is an unstoppable force

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The announcement of Libra as a cryptocurrency has hit the crypto community with a lot of reactions, especially from the US government. The plight of bitcoin has also seen so much attention especially from naysayers in Congress although this week we experienced a turn of events in the opposite direction as United States politicians accept the fact that bitcoin had always been beyond their control which feeds the narrative that the overall fight against cryptocurrencies is probably as a result of the fact that the government fears the power of decentralisation inherent in cryptocurrencies of massively adopted.

A disruptive innovation the government cannot stop

Even though what the blockchain technology offers is way beyond cryptocurrencies they have both been erroneously interchanged even by elite persons who have little or no knowledge about it as we see clearly reflecting in a tweet made by the President of the United States only a few days ago saying that.

In his speech on the 17th of July Congressman Patrick McHenry, who represents North Carolina’s 10th District stated clearly to lawmakers that attempts to stop bitcoin were utterly useless especially owing to the fact that other governments who have tried to do the same in the past have failed. His view runs in sharp contrast to other congressmen making the headline over the subject matter.

McHenry also said that “some politicians want us to live in a permission society where you need to come to government, ask for its blessings before you can even begin to think about innovating. Those are the politicians that would rather kill it before it grows”

His view was welcomed amongst most cryptocurrency enthusiasts as it reflected a lot of objectiveness and little or no hatred for this innovative technology unlike the majority of his fellow congressmen such as Brad Sharman who also found himself in the spotlight due to his dubious claims about bitcoin’s affiliation with Crime.

For McHenry whether or not there was legislation over this subject matter it was still going to make no difference as bitcoin was always going to prevail, and that if this was going to be possible, it probably would have been done since 2009 by an adversary.

However this goes, bitcoin has come to stay.

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Jamie Dimon Claims Libra Will Soon Be Everyone’s Talk

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Jamie Dimon, the chairman and CEO of  JPMorgan Chase, a global financial services firm, has been reported to claim that Facebook’s  Libra project is going to be the talk of many people. Thus, he believes that it does not pose a threat in the near future. Jamie Dimon made this known during a conference call with analysts.

During the speaking, Dimon asserts that talks about Facebook’s cryptocurrency project, Libra, has been going on for seven years yet nothing significant has happened. He then avers that about three years from now, we are going to be talking about the project.

“To put it in perspective, we’ve been talking about blockchain for 7 years and very little has happened. We’re going to be talking about Libra three years from now. I wouldn’t spend too much time on it.” He claims.

Dimon added that there is no need for competition rather a leveled playing ground is better. And that since no one aids terrorism or criminal activities, there will be an insistence from the government on conformance to the the  rigorous anti-money laundering rules.

“We don’t mind competition,” Jamie Dimon said. “The request is always going to be the same: We want a level playing field. And governments are going to insist that people who hold money or move money all live according to rules where they have the right controls in place; no-one wants to aid and abet terrorism or criminal activities.”

Jamie Dimon’s statements, especially as it regards to regulation in order to curb terrorism or criminal activities, can be taken to come on the heels of Donald Trump’s tweets and Steven Mnuchin’s press conference in support of Trump. These two figures have spoken badly about the ability of cryptocurrencies to facilitate illicit activities.

Steven Mnuchin is the United States Treasury Secretary. He  recently echoed Donald Trump’s tweet posts on the negative use of cryptocurrencies.

“Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin have been exploited to support billions of dollars of illicit activity, like cybercrime, tax evasion, extortion, randomware, illicit drugs, human trafficking” … “I think to a large extent, these cryptocurrencies have been dominated by illicit activities and speculation.”

Mnuchin then quotes Trump saying: “Bitcoin is highly volatile and based on thin air’”… “Treasury takes very seriously the role of the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency.”

Let us recall at this juncture that Jamie Dimon as the CEO of JPMorgan firm  is reportedly expecting to project its own digital token known as JPM Coin by the end of 2019.

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The dark side of remittances we don’t see

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Statistically, there are about 164 million migrant workers around the globe, the majority of which are Africans in the diaspora that have left their families back at home in search of greener pastures and these migrant workers send a large chunk of their earnings to support their families.

Over the years we could see that the remittances inflows that constitute the money transfer business form a reasonable part of GDP income for most countries experiencing economic hardship, countries like the Philippines which have the highest migrant population in the world suffer from this experience the most. Regardless of the constant attention, we see countries like the US give the issue of migrants the global remittance industry keeps flourishing by the day as it keeps increasing in size and level of competitiveness

The dark side we don’t see

Although it may look very simple at first glance the remittance industry is a vast and sprawling network with various intermediaries. We could also easily see that at the most basic level at any time it involves parties which include

  • ‌the sender
  • ‌local agent
  • ‌money transfer operator
  • ‌foreign agent
  • ‌The receiver

Western Union PayPal and MoneyGram judging by their performance over the years have been seen to offer the best global remittance services, western union is renowned for their high commission as their services are costly and even if we could say that it should cost something for these services to be rendered, it does not take away the fact that there is a good measure of exploitation involved in the whole process as good percentage of whatever is to be sent is deducted before it gets to the receiver. PayPal came into the picture after a while a become a major competitor which we could say would have slashed the monopoly that might have existed in the system but for persons familiar with the services you could see that even they too had their dark side as the level of scrutiny involved when using their platform could get so extreme that you experience lockdown on funds which could have urgent need to the receiving party only for PayPal to hide under the pretext of investigating funds, this is not to mention the discrimination that we see clearly take place as IP addresses of countries which are perceived to be “low classed” are prevented from using their services

Light at the end of the tunnel

With the advent of cryptocurrencies we can already see the potential for a lot to change as this not only eliminates all of the problems previously stated but further reduces the gap between sender and receiver through speed of transfer thereby slowly eliminating any possible need for a third party except of course there happens to be a hybrid system to make both parties more efficient. Blockchain has come to change the way we do a lot off things

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Why Trump’s bashing on bitcoin is a milestone achieved to cryptocurrencies

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On the 12th of July the president of the United States of America issued a statement on his tweet stating that he is not a fan of bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency, while this could be seen to some as a negative turn of events for cryptocurrencies, so many enthusiasts saw this as a step in the right direction considering the fact that the president before now has decided to remain silent on the subject matter, but as it has been making waves recently he decided to take his opinion out through his tweet

Positive or not, for proponents, this obviously marked a psychological milestone seeing that his need to bash bitcoin further buttresses the fact that it is independent of global powers and also reflects their helplessness to be able to do anything to crush it, Coinbase CEO Brain Armstrong stated in one a response to Donald Trump’s tweet as one of the leading responses.

Armstrong’s reply actually reflected the disposition of other bitcoiners as most are thankful for the free publicity that has been given to cryptocurrencies noting a sudden surge in interest as documented by Google trends. Although judging from an objective standpoint of view it is noteworthy to state that Trump’s point of view was not just antagonistic but reflected some level of ignorance especially considering the fact that he found it difficult to consider the technology behind the birthing of cryptocurrencies as nothing but illegal as it has been proven over the very short existence of blockchain that aside from cryptocurrencies there are applications in other aspects of life, other cryptocurrency enthusiasts who have made remarkable contribution to the space also made some replies as Max Keiser, the RT host and regular Bitcoin bull, considered Trump to have nullified his chances of reelection in 2020(even though this is debatable considering the fact that this depends on many other factors) , while eToro senior analyst, Speculations have already been got about as to whether or not this would lead to a bull run as Mati Greenspan, described the words of the president as an early nomination for the most bullish tweet of the year, even though we could say that this makes a good premise to create a fundamental analysis this event does not guarantee any bull run, however, it is expedient to state that cryptocurrencies are beginning to gain more recognition especially with the introduction of libra into the world of cryptocurrencies. These are exciting times for any crypto enthusiasts and we can only sit back and watch the events as they unfold.

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