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Kenya Proposes 3% Tax on Digital Asset Transfers in New Budget

Latest Tax Proposal Aims to Regulate Digital Asset Sector Without Granting Full Legitimacy


Fri, 05 May 2023, 13:36 pm UTC

The Kenyan National Treasury has proposed implementing a 3% tax on digital asset transfers for the upcoming fiscal year, as reported by Bloomberg. The country's budget is set to be unveiled on June 8.

President William Ruto's victory in the 2022 Kenyan elections was seen as a boost for cryptocurrencies as he was widely believed to be more supportive of them than his rival, Raila Odinga. At that time, the country had yet to establish any concrete regulations for the crypto market. Later in the year, legislators began deliberating on a bill that would permit the taxation of digital wallets, centralized crypto exchanges, and all forms of payment.

The latest tax proposal for digital assets aims to regulate the sector without granting it full legitimacy, a strategy that other countries have adopted in recent years. A United Nations report reveals that approximately 8.5% of Kenyans, or 4.25 million individuals, possess cryptocurrencies, earning the country the fifth spot in global crypto adoption rankings.

According to the Finance Bill 2023, as reported by local media outlet, "digital asset" refers to any intangible item of value, including cryptocurrencies, token codes, and numerical values stored in digital format, generated through cryptographic methods or otherwise, and known by any name. These digital assets represent value that can be electronically transferred, stored, or exchanged with or without consideration. The term also encompasses non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and other familiar tokens, regardless of their specific names. The income generated from the transfer or exchange of a digital asset is defined as the gross fair market value consideration received or receivable at the point of exchange or transfer.

Kenya follows Nigeria in imposing regulations on African crypto payments, reflecting a growing trend in digital asset oversight.

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