Kenya Has The Highest Proportion Of Crypto-Owning Citizens In Africa, UNCTAD Data Shows – Emerging Markets Bitcoin News
The latest data from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) suggests that Kenya has the highest proportion of people owning cryptocurrencies than any other African country. To counter the growing use of cryptocurrencies, UNCTAD said it recommends the imposition of taxes that discourage crypto trading.
“A way to protect household savings”
According to Data in the latest policy brief (UNCTAD), Kenya’s digital currency ownership as a share of the population of 8.5% is the highest in Africa and fifth in the world. Only Ukraine with 12.7%, Russia (11.9%), Venezuela (10.3%) and Singapore (9.4%) have a higher proportion of residents owning cryptocurrencies than Kenya .
As the data shows, South Africa is the second largest country in Africa and eighth globally, with 7.1% of the population owning or holding cryptocurrencies in 2021. In Nigeria, which is the As one of the largest cryptocurrency markets in the world, approximately 6.3% of the population owns or holds cryptocurrencies. Using UNCTAD data, this means from the population of 211 million inhabitantsjust over 13 million owned digital currencies in 2021.
Of the 20 countries studied, Australia was found to have the lowest percentage of its population (3.4%) that owned cryptocurrency during the said period.
Meanwhile, in a report on its findings, UNCTAD acknowledged that cryptocurrencies have grown in popularity as they are “an attractive channel through which to send funds”. The UN agency also said it found that middle-income people in developing countries affected by inflation own or hold cryptocurrencies, as they are seen as “a means of protecting household savings”. .
Mandatory Registration of Crypto Exchanges
However, based on its findings, UNCTAD said it determined that “the use of cryptocurrencies can lead to risks of financial instability.” Moreover, their use potentially opens “a new channel for illicit financial flows”.
“Finally, if left unchecked, cryptocurrencies can become a popular means of payment and even unofficially replace national currencies. [a process called cryptoization], which could jeopardize the monetary sovereignty of countries. The use of stablecoins poses the greatest risks in developing countries where the demand for reserve currencies is not met,” UNCTAD noted in the guidance note.
To minimize some of these risks, UNCTAD said it recommends “mandatory registration of crypto exchanges and digital wallets.” The agency also recommended imposing “entry fees for crypto exchanges” or levying taxes on cryptocurrency exchanges. This would make the use of cryptocurrencies less attractive, UNCTAD said. Other recommendations include restricting cryptocurrency advertisements and issuing a central bank digital currency (CBDC).
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