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November 13, 2018

Replace cash use with token system -team

Former PS Dr. Bitange Ndemo/FILE
Former PS Dr. Bitange Ndemo/FILE

You will soon be able to purchase goods and pay for services using tokens if recommendations by the blockchain task force are implemented.

“Tokens are like bonga points given by mobile operators or loyalty points given at the supermarkets, it can be converted to coins and used to buy goods of your choice,” Distributed Ledgers and Artifi cial Intelligence taskforce chairman Bitange Ndemo said.

Ndemo advised that the government should tokenise the economy to deal with increasing rates of corruption and uncertainties.

The taskforce was appointed in March to establish whether the country is ready for Blockchain technology.

Block-chain is a digital database that helps to identify and track digital transactions and sharing the information across a distributed network of computer.

 If the economy is tokenised, it means that government will stop printing hard money and instead adopt digital currency.

Speaking during the ICT ministry stakeholders meeting with the Private sector, Ndemo said Kenya needs a digital currency equivalent to a Fiat.

Fiat is a currency without a fundamental value that has been established as money, often by government regulation unlike a digital currency like Bitcoin that is unregulated.

“We must begin to tokenise the economy by giving incentives to young people to do things which they are paid through tokens that can be converted to Fiat currency,” Ndemo said.

He said that adoption of tokens would help reduce unemployment levels.

While the taskforce proposed formulation of a Central Bank Digital Currency to operate in fixed nominal terms and as a valid legal tender in July, Ndemo said they have shelved the idea for a moment.

“We are not very enthusiastic at the moment, of course it will come, but we fi rst want people to understand use of tokens.” Addressing stakeholders in the same meeting, ICT Ps Jerome Ochieng said the government will facilitate relevant policies to help regulate recommendations from the taskforce.

Other recommendations include introduction of a government certifier to authenticate goods before being released to the market.

This would mean elimination of middle men, and having only the certifier to verify originality of the product and the blockchain system to help in tracing the product from the farm to the shelf.

The system will off er transparency and openness needed to reassure consumers that the food they eat is exactly what the label says it is.

 

 

 

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