Marathon Digital, Kenyan government discuss crypto policy, energy use

Crypto miner Marathon Digital is in discussions with the Kenyan government on the country’s cryptocurrency policy and the energy requirements for crypto mining. Kenya has been gradually regulating the crypto market.

President William Ruto announced at the American Chamber of Commerce Kenya Business Summit that Marathon has been asked to consult with the National Treasury and Ministry of Energy. The summit took place in late April but was not immediately reported on.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo was among the attendees, and Marathon was a platinum-level sponsor of the event. In his keynote speech, Ruto said of the talks with Marathon:

“This is a strong testament of the vast transformative possibilities that exist in an expanded and comprehensive understanding between the U.S. [and] East Africa concerning trade and investment.”

Marathon is based in the United States but has joint mining ventures in Abu Dhabi and Paraguay. It is one of the world’s top five largest crypto miners. If the talks lead to a Marathon presence in the East African country, it would not be the first crypto miner to operate there.

Related: Ethiopia makes data center deal with Hong Kong company, may start mining

The Kenya government long had a negative attitude toward cryptocurrency. However, it began efforts to regulate crypto in November 2022, two months after Ruto took office. The International Monetary Fund made critical observations on the lax crypto regulation in Africa in November 2022. Kenya ranked 11th in the world for crypto adoption that year.

Source: Committees of the National Assembly of Kenya

The bill to tax and regulate crypto remains under consideration and open for comments. The government sought the advice of the Blockchain Association of Kenya on a bill for a virtual asset service provider.

The United States has reportedly stood up for the American crypto industry’s interests in Kenya before, unsuccessfully urging Kenya to lift its suspension of Worldcoin activities there. The Kenyan government ordered the shutdown of Worldcoin operations there in August, citing security concerns. Worldcoin did not immediately heed the government’s order.

Magazine: Championing Blockchain Education in Africa: Women Leading the Bitcoin Cause