Exploring financial inclusion in Kenya through cryptocurrencies: a case for a regulatory framework

Nyikuli, Elisha Odeyo
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Strathmore University
The use and reliance on cryptocurrencies have gained significant popularity around the world and developing countries such as Kenya have not been left out of this trend. In Kenya, which is the focus of this dissertation, the Central Bank of Kenya has gone as far as to warn the Kenyan population about the use of cryptocurrencies, without at the same time declaring them illegal in Kenya. This dissertation demonstrates that relevant Acts of Parliament; namely, the Central Bank Act, the Central Depositories Act, the Income Tax Act, the Insolvency Act and the Proceeds of Crime and Anti Money Laundering Act do not form a regulatory framework that is fit for the regulation of cryptocurrencies. Further, Kenyan courts of law have also not provided a way forward on this matter. It is against this backdrop that this dissertation hypothesises that for any comprehensive homegrown regulatory framework on cryptocurrencies to promote financial inclusion in Kenya, it should appreciate the areas in which Kenyans are most likely to interact with money. With admitted selectivity, it isolates currency (money), taxation, contracts and succession as some of the most important of such areas. To carve a way forward for a robust framework on cryptocurrencies in Kenya, the dissertation demonstrates that there are important lessons to be learnt from United States of America and Japan.
Submitted to the Faculty of Law in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of the Master of Laws (LLM), at Strathmore University
Financial inclusion, Cryptocurrencies, Regulatory framework