Interior CS Kindiki hints at ban on cryptocurrency in Kenya

Interior CS Kindiki hints at ban on cryptocurrency in Kenya

Interior CS Kithure Kindiki speaks when he appeared before the National Assembly Ad-Hoc Committee on the inquiry into the activities and operations of Worldcoin in Kenya on September 14, 2023. PHOTO | COURTESY

The government is sceptical of allowing use of cryptocurrency in the country because of its opaque nature of operations.

This was revealed by Interior Cabinet Secretary Prof. Kithure Kindiki who warned that cryptocurrency could be used, not only for money laundering, but also to finance terrorism.

Speaking while appearing before the Gabriel Tongoyo-led National Assembly Ad-hoc committee investigating the activities of Worldcoin the country, CS Kindiki said that presently there exist many grey areas in law to allow the use of digital currency in the country.

“’I need to be convinced as a security minister, that if there are grey areas and we can’t pinpoint the owners of the money and how they have made that money at the crypto trade level until the money finds its way into a financial institution, then at the risk of being accused of being at war with commerce and technology, I would be reluctant to allow it in the country,” Kindiki told members of the committee.

He also revealed that the American owners of the Worldcoin company and its associate - Tools for Humanity - had been barred from leaving the country but the American government intervened.

“They tried to leave the country but were stopped and put in custody but the US government intervened saying they would be allowed to leave because they haven’t yet been found guilty, but gave an undertaking that it will produce them when required,” Prof. Kindiki noted.

The Interior chief also vowed to make sure that anybody involved in allowing Worldcoin to operate in the country illegally will be held to account.

“Anyone in government or out of government, in private sector or public sector who it’s established aided, supported, encouraged or even attempted to support any of those things in relation to Worldcoin, we will hold them accountable,” he said.

The CS also insisted that there in no one in government shielding the owners of Worldcoin and its activities in Kenya, promising that once investigations are done, action will be taken.

“No one is immune, nobody is excluded, if you are found on the wrong side of the law, action will be taken, even if it’s me as the security minister, I will take responsibility,” he said.

The committee has until September 28, 2023 to table a report on its findings.

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Cryptocurrency CS Kithure Kindiki Worldcoin

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