Local crypto experts believe that William Ruto, the newly elected president of Kenya, represents a better future for the country's crypto community than Raila Odinga, the defeated candidate.
The future of cryptocurrency in Kenya was not a campaign topic, and neither candidate brought it up. However, the fact that he is 22 years younger than Odinga, who is 77, suggests that he might be more open to innovation.
"It is only an assumption that because he's younger. But ever since the cautionary notice issued by the central bank in 2018, no candidate has actually volunteered to talk about the crypto question in depth," said Roselyne Wanjiru, a researcher for a trade group called the Blockchain Association of Kenya. Regulators in Kenya have not yet suggested any concrete crypto rules.
The nation, which leads Africa in cryptocurrency adoption and was recently ranked fifth globally for adoption by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, makes it crucial for the area (UNCTAD). According to the UN affiliate, 8.5% of Kenyans are cryptocurrency owners, which puts them ahead of the 8.3% of Americans who are cryptocurrency owners.
Ruto narrowly defeated Odinga in Kenya's presidential vote with 50.5% of the vote to his opponent's 48.8%.
In addition to his youth, a research and markets analyst named Rufas Kamau suggested that Ruto's youth-friendly campaign, in which he coined the term "hustler nation" may indicate that he has a favorable view of cryptocurrencies.
"The previous administration was very harsh. We don't know exactly how this change will affect crypto but he has been supportive of the youth so we are hoping he will provide opportunities through crypto, "said Kamau.
Although one of Ruto's key policies is to appoint a gender-balanced cabinet, Kenya Blockchain Ladies founder Yvonne Kagondu said she was not sure which outcome would have been better.
"On the one hand, Ruto is younger but he appears to be strict and his word is final and that can be scary. We weren't confident with either candidate. Regardless, we will continue to work in silence. We don't want any issues with our government," stated Kagondu.
The CTO and co-founder of Raise, Eugene Mutai, an African crypto miner, claimed that the elections had left Kenya's crypto community in an unclear situation.
"What really matters is who they actually appoint as the leader of the Central Bank of Kenya and also Ministry of Finance. This election is yet to change the story of crypto in Kenya," said Mutai.
Due to Odinga's rejection of the outcome, Ruto's victory is not final. Odinga has stated that his team will pursue all legal avenues, which could delay clarity for Kenyan cryptocurrency enthusiasts.
By fLEXI tEAM