LEXOLOGY: A STRUCTURED GUIDE TO FINTECH IN KENYA

By Eddah Kiai,Dominic Indokhomi,John Syekei Tuesday, March 27, 2018
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Bowmans lawyers John Syekei, Dominic Indokhomi and Eddah Kiai contribute to Lexology Navigator's structured Q&A guide to Fintech in Kenya.

General innovation climate
What is the general state of fintech innovation in your jurisdiction, including any notable trends, innovations, innovators and future prospects?

The Kenyan fintech sector is among the fastest growing in Africa, with technology increasingly defining the day-to-day running of businesses in the country. Many start-ups are driving innovations, especially in mobile money. These businesses include mobile banking and savings, alternative funding and mobile payments. Future prospects include practical applications of distributed ledger technology.

Key technologies
Have there been any particular developments – regulatory or commercial – in distributed ledger technology and digital currencies (eg, blockchain, smart contracts and Bitcoin)?

The utilisation of blockchain technology is becoming increasingly attractive to innovators in Kenya. The Central Bank of Kenya issued a warning on the use of crypto-currencies in 2015 due to their perceived volatility and lack of specific governing legislation. Despite this warning, interest in crypto-currencies continues to gain significant momentum, with fintech ventures such as BITPESA leveraging on Bitcoin technology to effect payments.

In contrast to the position taken by the Central Bank, other government bodies appear to be eager to use distributed ledgers on proof of concept. The Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology, in collaboration with the Ministry of Lands and IBM Corporation, is currently piloting the use of a distributed ledger to upgrade the maintenance of property records kept by the Registrar of Lands.

Use of smart contracts is minimal.

This guide has been reproduced with permission of Lexology.
 Lexology Navigator is a research tool that guides users through the complex task of comparing different legislative and regulatory regimes across multiple jurisdictions.

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