Having invested in cryptocurrency Bitcoin, Kenya’s Information, Communication and Technology Cabinet Secretary is unconcerned about its recent plummet in value.At the roadmap launch of the Nairobi Innovation Week on Tuesday, Joe Mucheru was emphatic, stating: "I exited, and I am not complaining."
According to Mucheru, the ministry is setting up a task force to explore how blockchain technology can be harnessed to improve transparency and efficiency in the public and private sector.
Mucheru says the government is keen on using ICT to accelerate delivery of services and to spur the creation of digital jobs.
"I am convinced that the areas of blockchain and artificial intelligence are going to be extremely key for the things we are going to do in the next five years," said Mucheru.
— White Oak Inc (@Oak_supreme) January 16, 2018
Blockchain a source for innovation
The cabinet secretary explained that he started investing in tech startups when he was in the private sector, which made him a “handsome return over time”. Mucheru then urged angel investors to put their money in startups in Kenya.
"One of the things I can say to investors is that investing in Kenyan startups has a huge return. I am a witness in that space," said Mucheru.
He says the main challenge for investors is the lack of information around blockchain and other innovations and thus not grasping the opportunities available. Read more: International energy developer adopts cryptocurrency
Tech key to Kenya’s economy
A Citibank report reveals that Kenya is one of the top countries holding blockchain Bitcoins as a percentage of GDP, with over 2% of Kenya's Sh1.7 trillion ($16.5 billion) GDP held in virtual currencies.
This poses a significant risk to Kenya's economy if the blockchain system collapses, says Citibank analysts.
One Bitcoin is now valued at Sh1.2 million ($11,600) from Sh770,000 ($7,476) in mid-November 2017 with earlier Bitcoin investors reaping over 1,000% return on investment.
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has repeatedly warned on the use of cryptocurrencies as an asset class or a currency, though CBK Governor Dr Patrick Njoroge has said the blockchain technology can be harnessed by the government to improve efficiency.
Featured image: telegraph.co.uk