Kenya owns the largest crypto population in Africa: UNCTAD reports

Kenya owns the largest crypto population in Africa: UNCTAD reports

The United Nations Conference on Trade & Development (UNCTAD) data reveals that Kenya has the highest proportion of cryptocurrency-owning citizens than any other country in Africa, calling for tax imposition to discourage crypto trading and curb the growing crypto usage.

Reportedly, digital currency ownership in Kenya accounts for 8.5%, which is the highest among all African countries and the fifth-highest globally. 

The largest crypto-owning population is held by Ukraine with 12.7% and Russia showcasing the second-highest proportion of 11.9% followed by Venezuela and Singapore at 10.3% and 9.4% respectively.

Followed by Kenya is South Africa ranking second in the country and eighth globally with 7.1% of the population owning cryptocurrencies in 2021.

Meanwhile, Nigeria – one of the largest cryptocurrency markets in the world – has nearly 6.3% of the population that showcase crypto ownership.

Based on the data released by UNCTAD, out of the country’s total population of 211 million citizens, more than 13 million inhabitants owned digital currencies in 2021.

Altogether, UNCTAD surveyed 20 countries, out of which Australia possessed the least percentage of crypto ownership with only 3.4% of the population owning cryptocurrency at the time.

In the latest survey, UNCTAD notes that cryptocurrencies gained momentum as they came to be perceived as an appealing medium for sending remittances.

The UN agency believes that the mass appeal, notably among middle-income families across developing countries that are struggling with inflation can be attributed to the use of digital currencies as a means to protect household savings.

However, UNCTAD has clarified the misconceptions stating that the use of cryptocurrencies often leads to financial instability risks, and a lot of times these digital currencies facilitate illicit financial transactions.

In its recent policy brief, UNCTAD warns the world that if cryptocurrencies are left unregulated, they could potentially emerge as a common payment method and may replace domestic currencies through an unofficial process called cryptoization.

Speculations have it that, cryptoization could severely endanger the monetary sovereignty of nations.

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