Kenya could be ripe for a digital currency in the next three years if regulations are crafted, Joshua Oigara, CEO of Kenya’s largest bank has said.
Oigara said away from the wave of bitcoin that has swept different countries in the world, including Kenya, there are so many things that Kenya could exploit from using blockchain technology such as using it to enhance transparency.
A blockchain is a digitised and decentralised, public ledger of cryptocurrency transactions. A cryptocurrency is a digital currency that relies on coding techniques to control the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds.
"Today there is a lot of worry and anxiety. People are only interested in the bit of Bitcoin because they think they can manoeuver and make double the returns overnight," said Oigara.
Echoing CBK Governor Dr Patrick Njoroge’s take that bitcoin is a bubble, Oigara said that there is no short cut in making high returns, but routed for blockchain technology. He disclosed that KCB was having conversations with CBK around the technology.
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"We believe in our view that we need to dig deeper in the role of block chain technology. We are in conversations with CBK to look at guidelines on how banks can use it in document management systems," Oigara said.
On Tuesday, Njoroge said that Blockchain technology is “something that can be useful” for as long as security concerns are addressed.
Njoroge added that two levels should be considered: the creators of the technology and those who make it secure.
"The problem is that we want to be Steve Jobs who did it all at once. If we have people using the language of coding that is easy to hack, then it is of no use to man,” said Njoroge.
Oigara thinks that going forward, many central banks will deepen conversations about having regulations for issuing cryptocurrency as opposed to ignoring it.
"We have been having conversations around what to do with blockchain and whether we can use it now in the banking sector. I hope in the next two to three years we can have cryptocurrency,” said Oigara, who in December, declined an offer from a friend to buy bitcoin.