Kenya’s Cryptocurrency Review: President Ruto Engages Bitcoin Miner Marathon Digital

Kenya’s stance on cryptocurrencies appears to be evolving as the government extends an invitation to a consulting firm to reassess its approach. This move signifies a departure from the previously stringent stance upheld by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) regarding digital currencies.

President William Ruto disclosed that Marathon Digital Holdings has been engaged to collaborate with the National Treasury and the Ministry of Energy to review the cryptocurrency landscape. Marathon Digital Holdings, a major Bitcoin miner in North America, specializes in converting energy into economic value through Bitcoin transactions and maintaining the integrity of Bitcoin’s ledger.

In conjunction with the Ministry of Energy, discussions will revolve around the energy requirements associated with cryptocurrency mining. Ruto emphasized Marathon Digital’s involvement in consulting with both the Treasury and the energy ministry during a meeting with American investors in Nairobi.

This shift in approach contrasts with CBK’s previous warnings to Kenyans about the risks associated with cryptocurrencies, particularly Bitcoin. CBK cautioned against the use of virtual currencies due to their lack of legal tender status in Kenya, highlighting concerns about their potential misuse in illicit activities such as money laundering and terrorism financing.

The President’s remarks were made during the AMCHAM Business Summit in Nairobi, attended by notable figures including United States Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, Kenya’s Investment and Trade Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Miano, US Ambassador to Kenya Met Whitman, as well as representatives from American and Kenyan companies and government officials.

As Kenya navigates its stance on cryptocurrencies, the involvement of Marathon Digital Holdings underscores the government’s willingness to explore the economic and energy implications of digital assets. This development could signal a more nuanced approach to regulating and integrating cryptocurrencies within Kenya’s financial landscape.

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