Data from UNCTAD show that Kenya is the African country with the highest number of citizens owning crypto.
Kenya ranks first in Africa with highest number of cryptocurrency holders
According to reports from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Kenya takes first place as the country in Africa with the highest number of crypto holders.
To be specific, digital currency ownership in Kenya is 8.5% of the population, and it is the highest in Africa and the fifth highest globally. This is followed by South Africa in second place in Africa and eighth globally, with 7.1% of the population owning or holding cryptocurrencies in 2021.
Nigeria also falls on the African podium, with about 6.3% of the population owning or holding cryptocurrencies.
Outpacing Kenya’s lead, however, are countries outside the African continent, such as Ukraine and its 12.7% of citizens holding crypto, followed by Russia with 11.9%, Venezuela with 10.3% and Singapore with 9.4%.
UNCTAD’s report and how to counter the growing use of cryptocurrencies
This latest UNCTAD policy brief also describes that the growing use of cryptocurrencies in inflation-hit developing countries is happening because crypto is seen “as a way to protect household savings”.
Not only that, the popularity of crypto has grown because they are “an attractive channel through which to send remittances”.
To counter this growth and popularity, UNCTAD said it recommends imposing taxes that discourage cryptocurrency trading, as these can lead to risks of financial instability.
In addition, the UNCTAD also recommends mandatory registration of crypto-exchanges and digital wallets, as well as restricting cryptocurrency advertising and issuing a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).
Kenya and Bitcoin mining
Last month, news leaked that Kenya’s energy company, KenGen, had appealed to Bitcoin (BTC) miners to move their mining operations to the country and take advantage of its renewable energy capacity.
This is one way to attract miners to Kenya. KenGen wants these crypto businesses to take advantage of its excess geothermal energy in the country.
The benefits of accommodating these activities could also interest the Kenyan government in claiming additional revenue from taxes paid by those who mine. Sort of what Kazakhstan, the world’s mining center, is doing, projecting to earn as much as 1.5 billion in taxes from miners over the next five years.