Pesamill Africa, a peer-to-peer and centralised exchange, has launched its services in Kenya expanding the already growing crypto scene in the country. This comes at a time when Kenya ranked 23 globally with regards to bitcoin trading volumes on Localbitcoins.com.
Founded by Brian Ngugi, a lawyer by profession, Pesamill is an exchange built by Africans for Africa with the aim of solving some of the major problems that face global crypto exchanges.
— Kenyanwallstreet (@kenyanwalstreet) September 26, 2018
The Pesamill Exchange
Pesamill offers a simple know your customer (KYC) process that only takes five minutes to complete, Pesamill’s founder and director Brian Ngugi said. The KYC process is tailored to the Kenyan environment which means that users will not have to give residence details as is the case with global exchanges.
He also said that the exchange is compliant with anti-money laundering (AML) requirements and has invested in security measures such as one-time password (OTP) and two-factor authentication (2FA) ensuring that users’ funds remain safe in their web wallets.
Pesamill currently lists five coins on its exchange namely bitcoin, ripple, bitcoin cash, ether, and litecoin. The exchange will include other cryptocurrencies, including African coins, in accordance with market demand.
Navigating the Regulatory Environment in Kenya
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has severally warned Kenyans against dealing and investing in cryptocurrencies because of their risky nature. Unlike other countries such as India that have banned cryptocurrencies, the Kenyan regulator has, however, not made these currencies illegal in the country which means that citizens can use crypto at their own discretion.
Pesamill’s founder and director Brian Ngugi noted that regulating the crypto space is important, adding that the exchange is prepared for regulators in Kenya.
— Kenyanwallstreet (@kenyanwalstreet) September 26, 2018
Ngugi also observed that even though regulation can sometimes be a hindrance to crypto startups entering new markets, the users of a product can still continue using it if it satisfies their needs and wants.
Ending the Dependency on Foreign Currencies & the Proposed Local Digital Currency
During a panel discussion at the launch, Michael highlighted that the introduction of exchanges such as Pesamill into the African market offers an opportunity for eliminating foreign currencies such as the USD which have been limiting intra-African trade on the continent.
Presently, to purchase an item from Nigeria while in Kenya requires converting the Kenyan shilling to the US dollar. But with cryptocurrencies, this barrier is eradicated.
With regards to the proposed local digital currency by the Blockchain and AI taskforce, Michael is of the opinion that it is not a practical idea because Kenyans already have plenty of options to choose from when making transactions.
Pesamill’s founder said the exchange will launch in Uganda, Ethiopia, and Tanzania in the future.
World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021
World Bank Group President David Malpass has urged the Group of 20 rich countries to extend the time frame of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative(DSSI) through the end of 2021, calling it one of the key factors in strengthening global recovery.
“I urge you to extend the time frame of the DSSI through the end of 2021 and commit to giving the initiative as broad a scope as possible,” said Malpass.
He made these remarks at last week’s virtual G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.
The World Bank Chief said the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the deepest global recession in decades and what may turn out to be one of the most unequal in terms of impact.
People in developing countries are particularly hard hit by capital outflows, declines in remittances, the collapse of informal labor markets, and social safety nets that are much less robust than in the advanced economies.
For the poorest countries, poverty is rising rapidly, median incomes are falling and growth is deeply negative.
Debt burdens, already unsustainable for many countries, are rising to crisis levels.
“The situation in developing countries is increasingly desperate. Time is short. We need to take action quickly on debt suspension, debt reduction, debt resolution mechanisms and debt transparency,” said Malpass.
Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will regulate interest rates charged on mobile loans by digital lending platforms if amendments on the Central bank of Kenya Act pass to law. The amendments will require digital lenders to seek approval from CBK before launching new products or changing interest rates on loans among other charges, just like commercial banks.
“The principal objective of this bill is to amend the Central bank of Kenya Act to regulate the conduct of providers of digital financial products and services,” reads a notice on the bill. “CBK will have an obligation of ensuring that there is fair and non-discriminatory marketplace access to credit.”
According to Business Daily, the legislation will also enable the Central Bank to monitor non-performing loans, capping the limit at not twice the amount of the defaulted loan while protecting consumers from predatory lending by digital loan platforms.
Tighter Reins on Platforms for Mobile Loans
The legislation will boost efforts to protect customers, building upon a previous gazette notice that blocked lenders from blacklisting non-performing loans below Ksh 1000. The CBK also withdrew submissions of unregulated mobile loan platforms into Credit Reference Bureau. The withdrawal came after complaints of misuse over data in the Credit Information Sharing (CIS) System available for lenders.
Last year, Kenya had over 49 platforms providing mobile loans, taking advantage of regulation gaps to charge obscene rates as high as 150% a year. While most platforms allow borrowers to prepay within a month, creditors still pay the full amount plus interest.
Amendments in the CBK Act will help shield consumers from high-interest rates as well as offer transparency on terms of digital loans.
Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Clients trading through the Scope Markets Kenya trading platform will get instant access to global financial markets and wider investment options.
This follows the launch of a new Scope Markets app, available on both the Google PlayStore and IOS Apple Store.
The Scope Markets app offers clients over 500 investment opportunities across global financial markets.
The Scope Markets app has a brand new user interface that is very user friendly, following feedback from customers.
The application offers real-time quotes; newsfeeds; research facilities, and a chat feature which enables a customer to make direct contact with the Customer Service Team during trading days (Monday to Friday).
The platform also offers an enhanced client interface including catering for those who trade at night.
The client will get instant access to several asset classes in the global financial markets including; Single Stocks CFDs (US, UK, EU) such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, BP, Carrefour; Indices (Nasdaq, FTSE UK), Metals (Gold, Silver); Currencies (60+ Pairs), Commodities (Oil, Natural Gas).
The launch is part of Scope Markets Kenya strategy of enriching the customer experience while offering clients access to global trading opportunities.
Scope Markets Kenya CEO, Kevin Ng’ang’a observed, “the Sope Markets app is very easy to use especially when executing trades. Customers are at the heart of everything we do. We designed the Scope Markets app with the customer experience in mind as we seek to respond to feedback from our customers.”
He added that enhancing the client experience builds upon the robust trading platform, Meta Trader 5, unveiled in 2019, enabling Scope Markets Kenya to broaden the asset classes available on the trading platform.