UN Report: Kenyans Are The Highest Crypto Holders In Africa, Over 4M Hodlers

  • The report states that 8.5 percent of Kenya’s population (about 4.3 million Kenyans) are crypto holders.
  • These statistics also mean that Kenya’s crypto holders are higher than the US.

The United Nations has stated that Kenya has the highest crypto holders among African nations. Thus, indicating the nation’s massive exposure to the current downturn in the crypto market. The report credited to the United Nations Conference On Trade And Development (UNCTAD) stated that 8.5 percent of the nation’s population are digital asset owners. That percentage translates to 4.25 million of Kenya’s population.

Kenyans Believe in Satoshi and Crypto

These statistics also mean that Kenya’s crypto holders are higher than the US. Multiple data show that only 8.3 percent of Americans are crypto holders. US residents are among the top six crypto holders globally. Others in the top five are Ukraine, Russia, Venezuela, Singapore, and Kenya, in that order.

12.7 percent of Ukrainians are crypto holders, while 11.9 percent of Russians, 10.3 percent of Venezuelans, and 9.4 percent of Singaporeans are crypto holders. One of the popular characteristics of the crypto market is its substantial price swings. The market has dropped over 50 percent of its value between November 2021 and June 2022.

Investors continue to sell their crypto assets due to concerns regarding interest rate increases and rising inflation levels. Over four million Kenyans have been adversely affected by the current crypto winter. In recent years, many Kenyan crypto holders have turned to crypto traders hoping for quick returns.

They also chose not to heed warnings from Kenya’s Central Bank (CBK) and other regulators over the risks involved in these fast-rising asset classes. South Africa and Nigeria are among the top ten nations with the highest crypto holders worldwide.

South Africa is ninth, with 7.1 percent of its population being crypto holders. Nigeria is tenth. 6.3 percent of Nigerians are crypto holders. According to UNCTAD, three factors contributed to Kenyans’ massive crypto adoption. Their crypto exchanges charge low fees; they have easier access to the internet, and remittances go through in no time.

The report added that various disruptions caused a rise in the costs of standard remittances during the heat of the pandemic period. This cost was even high before the pandemic. The UNCTAD report aligns with a Chainalysis report last year, stating that more than four million Kenyans are crypto holders.

Last year, a blockchain analytics company, Chainalysis, released a report of nations with the highest crypto adoption rates their order from the highest to the lowest. The report adds that Kenya’s crypto sector is also unregulated as it is in many other developed nations. Hence, it couldn’t estimate the worth of crypto assets held by most tech-savvy Kenyans.

Side Notes

A Chainalysis report states that Kenyans own cryptos for various reasons. Some hold them as an edge against inflation. Others keep them for commercial reasons like importation, and a few others have cryptos to receive cross-border payments.

Many Kenyans prefer to make payments for their importation using cryptos because it is fast, cheaper, and more convenient than other payment methods such as Western Union. 

The CBK and UNCTAD share similar opinions regarding digital currencies’ risks and financial instability. However, CBK governor, Patrick Njoroge, added that cryptos are one way of financial inclusion for unbanked Kenyans.

Cryptos do not have legal status in most countries. There is no way to reclaim any loss of funds. Earlier in the year, the CBK requested public opinion over the possibility of introducing a virtual currency with various benefits, such as lowering the costs of international payments. Two months ago, Kenya’s apex bank announced the test for its national digital currency compared to the fiat shilling.

Rebecca Davidson Verified

Rebecca is a Senior Staff Writer at BitcoinWisdom, working hard to bring you the latest breaking news in the cryptocurrency market. In the words of Elon Musk “Buy stock in several companies that make products & services that *you* believe in. Only sell if you think their products & services are trending worse. Don’t panic when the market does. This will serve you well in the long-term.”

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