Kenya to regulate the crypto market

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April 24, 2024
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6 min read
Physical version of Ethereum, Bitcoin Ripples, and Kenyan Flag
Source: coingeek.com

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নমস্কার,

Victoria from Techpoint here,

Here's what I've got for you today:

  • Kenya to regulate crypto market
  • Should you tell your boss you have a side hustle?
  • Thepeer investors request an audit 
  • Ghana’s identity regulator to hike service fees in May 

Kenya to regulate the crypto market 

Physical version of Ethereum, Bitcoin Ripples, and Kenyan Flag
Source: coingeek.com

The Kenyan government is getting serious about regulating the crypto scene. It’s put together a bunch of big shots from different agencies to form a team to figure out how to keep tabs on things. 

This move comes after the government floated the idea of slapping a 3% tax on crypto trading last year.

This new team, including the Central Bank of Kenya, has one task: develop rules for dealing with cryptocurrencies and the companies that provide related services.

The Treasury Cabinet Secretary, Njuguna Ndung’u, pointed out the rise of online scams and dodgy investments, warning folks about the risks of messing with unregulated financial stuff.

Remember in September 2023 when the Central Bank's Financial Reporting Centre did a deep dive into the risks of virtual assets and service providers? Yeah, they found some serious concerns, like money laundering and financing terrorism.

And just to add more drama, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations recently warned Kenyans about online crypto scams. 

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Kenya's no newbie to the crypto game. It's a big deal in East Africa, with lots of trading and interest. 
And get this: The government's been getting advice from all sides. It asked a community-based organisation to draft a bill to regulate the crypto market, and in February 2024, the Blockchain Association of Kenya came up with the first draft.


Should you tell your boss you have a side hustle?

remote work

In Nigeria and probably in other African countries too, it's pretty common for folks to juggle multiple jobs. Bolaji Shote, the founder of Ingenuity HR Solutions, is all for it. She reckons employers need to accept that their staff might have side gigs, especially if they're part-timers.

Shote knows what she's talking about because she's had at least three employees who didn't spill the beans about their extra hustles until she found out on her own. Signs like skipping work, being distracted, or missing deadlines can give away the game.

Now, some folks can handle it like pros, balancing work like a boss. But others might struggle, and their performance could suffer as a result.

If it gets too much and starts affecting their job, employers might have to cut ties. But there's another side to the story.

If someone's working part-time, it wouldn't be fair to stop them from hustling on the side. And if they're doing a great job, employers might need to be flexible and find ways to support them.

Shote says the stigma around having multiple jobs has eased up over the years. Nowadays, people are more open about it, which is cool. Check out Oluwanifemi's story for a detailed and balanced view on this.


Thepeer investors request an audit following shutdown

Thepeer co-founders
Michael Okoh and Chike Ononye, Co-founder of Thepeer. Image source: Supplied

Remember this? Thepeer shuts up shop nearly two years after a $2.1m seed

Here's the latest scoop on Thepeer: Turns out, just two weeks after a shareholder called for an audit, the co-founders decided to pull the plug on the company’s operation.

This Nigerian startup was all about API technology and had big dreams of making wallets a top payment choice in Nigeria. It managed to snag $2.3 million from investors.

But despite all that cash, co-founders Michael Okoh and Chike Ononye announced on April 1, 2024, that they were calling it quits. They blamed it on struggles with getting users on board and dealing with pesky regulations. And get this: They even promised to give some of the money back to investors.

Ononye spilled the beans, saying they just couldn't crack the code on getting enough wallets on board to make their service attractive to merchants. Plus, dealing with all the different wallet systems was a huge pain in the neck.

And let's not forget the regulatory hurdles. They thought they could skate by using a partner's licence, but that plan hit a wall when they needed to add new features.

But here's where it gets juicy: Some investors and shareholders aren't too happy about the financial situation at Thepeer. They're calling for an audit because, apparently, the company's burn rate was sky high while their income was barely a trickle. Documents show they burned through about $17,000 a month but only made about $650 between January and October.

So, even though they raised over $2 million, they claimed to have only $450,000 left by November 2023. Sketchy, right? Plus, they haven't been too transparent with their investors, leaving some in the dark for months before dropping the bombshell about shutting down.

Now, some investors are demanding answers and a clear picture of where all that money went.


Ghana’s identity regulator to hike service fees in May

A Ghanaian National Identification Authority (NIA) building
Image sources: Modern Ghana

Ghana's National Identification Authority is bumping up fees for some of its services starting May 1, 2024. This move is in line with new regulations passed by Parliament earlier in February.

If you're a Ghanaian getting your Ghana Card for the first time, replacing a lost one, or updating your info, you'll need to budget for the new fees starting in May.

First-time registration at the NIA District Office stays free, and so does updating records without getting a new card at the NIA Regional and District offices, plus for folks in the ECOWAS sub-region and even outside of Africa.

First-time registration at NIA Premium Centres is going up to around 310 cedis (about $23), and if you need a replacement card at a Premium Centre, that'll set you back around 420 cedis (around $31).

For Ghanaians outside the country but still in the ECOWAS area, first-time registration will be around $55, and updating records with a card replacement will be around $27.5.

Oh, and if you're doing nationality updates, it's around 70 cedis at regional and district offices, but a bit pricier at Premium Centres, around 365 cedis.

And just a reminder: The National Communications Authority wants all Ghanaians to register their SIM cards and link them to their Ghana Card by the end of May 2023, or risk getting them deactivated. 

Sidebar Alert: Uganda's adding iris biometrics to their national IDs for extra security.


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Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Victoria Fakiya for Techpoint Africa.

She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.
She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.
She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.

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