Kenya taps US Bitcoin mining giant Marathon Digital for crypto regime and mining consultation

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Kenya’s President William Ruto has appointed Marathon Digital, a prominent US Bitcoin mining firm, to provide consultancy services on the nation’s crypto policies and the energy requirements associated with crypto mining, according to Kenyan Wall Street, a local digital-first media house that focuses on business and finance.

With this appointment, Marathon Digital and Kenya’s National Treasury and Ministry of Energy will collaborate and discuss the energy needs for crypto mining, President Ruto announced the partnership at a meeting with American investors in Nairobi last week.

Additionally, the US mining leader will support the government in developing a framework for crypto in Kenya.

Starting as a patent holding company, Marathon Digital has transformed into a major player in the crypto mining space, with a focus on Bitcoin, since 2021 under its new leadership and strategic direction. The company is one of the largest Bitcoin miners in North America.

State of digital assets in Kenya

Kenya currently lacks clear regulations for crypto trading and usage, despite being one of the leading African countries in crypto adoption and usage. Chainalysis’ 2023 Global Crypto Adoption Index shows that the country ranks second in Africa and 21st globally.

The latest development signals a move away from the Central Bank of Kenya’s (CBK) previous hardline stance against digital currencies. In 2015, the CBK issued warnings about crypto risks, including lack of legal tender status, anonymity, volatility, and potential for criminal activity.

The CBK also explored the idea of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). However, it determined that a CBDC is not currently a pressing need.

While Kenya has explored crypto regulations, another African nation, Angola, recently banned Bitcoin mining.

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