Bitcoin is slowly rising to its former glory, and Kenya wants to be ready when it’s in place.
The country is considering enforcing new regulations that will tax crypto exchange platforms like Binance and Bitmama. Business Daily reports that crypto platforms operating in Kenya may soon have to pay a 1.5% duty on every transaction they make, per the Value added Tax (Electronic, Internet and Digital Marketplace Supply) Regulations, 2023.
Kenya leads in crypto: Kenya has repeatedly ranked top of cryptocurrency adoption on the continent, beating out South Africa and Nigeria. The country is also ranked first globally for peer-to-peer crypto trading volume and fifth overall for crypto trading activity.
In fact, some studies suggest that at least 10.7% of Kenyans—about 6 million people—own crypto.
With that many crypto transactions being made, a 1.5% duty could generate income for Kenyan authorities and strain crypto exchange platforms.
Double taxing? Last year, the country also announced an amendment to its Capital Markets Bill to introduce a 20% excise tax on every crypto transaction fee charged in the country. Another 1.5% tax would mean more charges for crypto exchange platforms, and higher fees for crypto traders who are turning to crypto to avoid currency devaluation.
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ZIMBABWE NEEDS $100 MILLION WORTH OF GOLD
According to Persistence Gwanyanya, a member of the central bank’s monetary policy committee, the country will need $100 million of gold to kick-start its proposed bullion-backed digital currency.
Some context: Last week, Zimbabwe’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), announced plans to introduce a gold-backed digital currency to be used as legal tender in the country.
The introduction of digital gold tokens is part of the government’s interventions to deal with the country’s fluctuating currency and represents the first steps towards using the country’s gold reserves to peg the national currency, the Zimbabwean dollar.
When introduced, the tokens will be exchangeable for small amounts of Zimbabwean dollars. Holders can exchange their money for the tokens in order to store value and shield themselves from exchange rate volatility.
The gold-paved road: State-owned media reported earlier this month that the country had 350 kg of gold in reserves, citing John Mangudya, the central bank governor.
Zimbabwe targets a 14% increase in gold production to 40 trillion this year. It earned $377 million from gold production in the first quarter compared to $463 million a year ago, according to data provided by Fidelity Gold Refineries, the nation’s sole refinery.
The battle for prisoners’ access to personal computers in South Africa continues to heat up, with a compelling case being made for inmate Mbalenhle Sydney Ntuli.
Who is Nthuli? Serving a lengthy sentence for robbery, Ntuli’s determination to further his education through a data processing course at Oxbridge Academy has been met with challenges. Despite obtaining a court order allowing him to use a computer without internet access for studying, Ntuli’s access has been limited since being transferred to another section of the prison. The noisy and restricted hours of the computer centre, coupled with limited time outside his cell, have hindered his educational pursuits as the minister of justice and correctional services fights against a ruling that could grant prisoners the right to use personal computers (PCs) behind bars.
Currently, inmates have limited or no access to these modern tools of communication and information, but two previous court hearings have declared the policy unfair. The minister is pushing back against these rulings.
Why? Despite the rules,prisoners are sometimes given PCs to use for further education or learn new skills. This is considered a part of rehabilitation, but some of them have significantly abused it. An example is Thabo Bester, the popular Facebook rapist who used a computer he was given for his studies to run multi-million-rand scams from prison.
However, human rights lawyers are arguing against the stance, insisting that prisoners reserve their other human rights, so they should still be able to have access to computers as people do.
The hearing, which has sparked debate about human rights, is scheduled for later this year.
The Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO), Irdeto, and the Kenyan police pulled off a thrilling sting operation against an online streaming company operating in the country. According to Techweez, the alleged mastermind, Kelvin Kiplangat Sing’oei, and a cache of equipment have been taken into custody.
A win for Kenyan creators: Did you know that Kenyans lose over Ksh10 billion ($73.7 million) every year due to illegal streaming? It’s a staggering amount, but there’s a glimmer of hope as law enforcement recently caught one criminal involved in this illegal activity. It’s definitely worth celebrating, considering the immense losses that Kenyan creators face when they’re unable to fully profit from their hard work.
Sure, it may be cheaper for some people in Kenya to stream content illegally rather than pay for legitimate streaming services, but it’s important to remember that it’s not just illegal, it’s also dangerous. Illegal streaming poses serious risks to consumers, who could have their personal data, including their banking information, compromised by these pirate operations. It’s a threat that mustn’t be taken lightly.
Fortunately, the Copyright Amendment Act has been put in place to protect intellectual properties, making it illegal to stream content without permission from the copyright holder. Law enforcement agencies are actively working to deal blows to those who steal intellectual property, and the government has also collaborated with internet service providers (ISPs) to block access to illegal streaming websites.
THE WORLD WIDE WEB3
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* Data as of 22:00 PM WAT, April 25, 2023.
The US has charged an official of a North Korean bank over his involvement in a cryptocurrency scam. Aljazeera reports that Sim Hyon Sop, a representative of the North Korean Foreign Trade Bank, is suspected of conspiring with cryptocurrency traders to use stolen funds to buy goods for North Korea.
Binance US will no longer purchase bankrupt cryptocurrency firm Voyager Digital. Per CoinDesk, Voyager Digital received a letter from Binance terminating the $1 billion acquisition deal mere days after the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) okayed the deal.
The SaaS Accelerator Program: Africa 2023 has opened applications for its accelerator programme to enable early startups in Africa to receive funding. Selected startups will receive up to $70,000 in funding. Apply by September 7.
Growth4Her, a 6-month investment program, is calling for applications from founders in West and Central Africa. Apply by May 8.
Young Impact Associate (YIA) fellowship which is funded and implemented in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation is open for applications. Apply by May 15.
WEMA Bank Hackaholic 4.0, a startup competition that enables founders and innovators to blitzscale their ventures, is receiving applications from Nigerian designers, developers, and creative thinkers. Apply before May 1.
Innovation for Ecosystem Restoration, an accelerator for entrepreneurs championing ecosystem restoration throughout sub-Saharan Africa, is open for applications. Apply by May 14.
Football club, Paris Saint-Germain, is looking for a startup that can develop a collaborative platform that can solve the challenges of product development in Africa. Apply before April 30.
Wise Guys SaaS Accelerator Program is looking to help SaaS startups level up through tailored guidance and support from world-class mentors and experts. Apply before September 7.
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