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UNCTAD Data Shows Kenya Has Highest Proportion of Crypto Owning Citizens in Africa

UNCTAD Data Shows Kenya Has Highest Proportion of Crypto Owning Citizens in Africa – According to the most recent data from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Kenya has the highest percentage of people who hold cryptocurrencies out of all the African countries. UNCTAD stated that it recommends the establishment of taxes that discourage cryptocurrency trading in order to counter the growing use of cryptocurrencies.

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Kenya has the highest rate of digital currency ownership in Africa and ranks fifth globally, according to data from the most recent (UNCTAD) policy brief, at 8.5% of the population. Only Ukraine with 12.7%, Venezuela (10.3%), Russia (11.9%), and Singapore (9.4%) have a higher proportion of crypto-owning residents than Kenya.

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According to the report, 7.1 percent of South Africans owned or held cryptocurrencies in 2021, placing the country second in Africa and eighth globally. About 6.3 percent of the population in Nigeria, one of the largest cryptocurrency markets in the world, possess or own cryptocurrencies. According to the UNCTAD data, this indicates that in 2021, out of the 211 million people who called the country home, just over 13 million were owners of digital currencies.

Australia had the least percentage of its people who held cryptocurrencies throughout the study period (3.4 percent) among the 20 countries that were surveyed. In the meantime, UNCTAD acknowledged in a report on its findings that cryptocurrencies have gained in popularity because they are “an attractive channel for sending remittances.”

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The UN agency also said that because they are considered “as a tool to secure household savings,” middle-class people from inflation-stricken developing countries possess or hold cryptocurrencies.

However, the UNCTAD stated that it came to the conclusion that “the use of cryptocurrencies may lead to financial instability concerns” based on its results. Furthermore, using them might create “a new avenue for illicit financial flows.”

“Finally, if left unchecked, cryptocurrencies may spread quickly and even unofficially replace domestic currencies, a process known as cryptoization, jeopardizing the monetary sovereignty of countries.” The adoption of stablecoins presents the biggest risks in developing countries with unmet reserve currency demand, according to a policy paper from UNCTAD.

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UNCTAD stated that it suggests “the mandatory registration of crypto-exchanges and digital wallets” to help reduce some of these risks. The agency suggested taxing cryptocurrency trading or imposing “entry fees for crypto-exchanges.” This would lessen the attractiveness of using cryptocurrencies, according to UNCTAD. Restricting cryptocurrency ads and launching a central bank digital currency are some other suggestions (CBDC).

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