Kenya on track to tax cryptocurrencies?

Kenya is positioned among the leading countries in Africa where the adoption of Bitcoin and other cryptos is booming. More than four million people hold cryptos in their wallets. Kenya’s lawmakers then decided to launch a bill to regulate and tax crypto businesses.

Doesn’t this law disadvantage the use of cryptos in Kenya?

According to Business Daily’s post reported on Monday, Kenyan lawmakers are set to put in place a bill that aims to regulate and tax crypto trading as well as all digital currencies.

This 2022 bill, if approved by the country’s MPs, the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) will impose a tax on crypto exchanges, digital wallets as well as transactions.

This taxation of crypto assets will be similar to the excise duties levied on banking transactions. Thus, crypto businesses will be subject to a tax on their income. The same goes for all holders of cryptos. The latter will pay the KRA a percentage on their earnings from Bitcoin or other cryptos, when they sell them or use them in a transaction.

A person who owns or trades crypto assets must provide the Authority with the following information for tax purposes: the amount of the proceeds of the transaction, the costs associated with the transaction, and the amount of any gain or loss thereon.

Aperçu sur l’adoption du crypto en Afrique et au Kenya

According to data from TripleA Global Crypto, recently published in a paper titled Global crypto adoption, 53 million Africans hold cryptocurrencies.

Indeed, globally, there are 320 million crypto holders.

In 2020, the University of Cambridge had estimated that number at 101 million. This is therefore a remarkable progress.

As for the adoption of Bitcoin and other cryptos in Kenya, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) report states that about 8.5 percent of the Kenyan population owns cryptos. This ranks the country fifth on the global adoption rankings, ahead of the United States which ranks sixth with 8.3%.

Faced with this massive adoption, the Kenyan authorities seem perplexed. In any case, it is quite clear in the current bill.

The authorities are struggling to understand that they cannot have control over people‘s money. While the regulation may reduce scams and Ponzi schemes in the country, it undermines the very foundation of Bitcoin which is decentralization and the freedom to use it as one wishes.