As reported by Kenyan news outlet, the Star yesterday, October 15, Kenya’s government is planning on installing blockchain technology which will facilitate a government housing project of 500,000 units.
The goal of this affordable housing project is to complete 500,000 units by the year 2022, and to support contributors who earn less than 100,000 Kenyan Shillings “($992), because they may not be able to afford mortgages.
According to the Star, out of the 2.48 million citizens of Kenya who are employed in 2016, only 77,000 or 3.1% earned over Sh100,000. The Star also reports that blockchain technology will be used to ensure the proper distribution of housing to individuals or families who deserve them, and address issues of graft from both the legislators and beneficiaries.
The government of Kenya has high hopes that the new technology will re-establish public trust in the government’s housing initiatives especially after the National Youth Service Scandal where 40 civil servants and 14 officials of the private sector were arrested for stealing $78 million from the project’s coffers.
Speaking at the second urban dialogue on the affordable housing agenda with the World Bank in Nairobi, Housing and Urban Development Principal Secretary Charles Hinga said:
“Kenya will use blockchain technology to ensure the rightful owners live in government funded housing projects.”
The project will be funded by the National Housing Fund under the Finance Act of 2018, to which Kenyans will contribute 1.5% of their salary that will be matched by their employers.
This project will not be the first time wherein the government attempted to deploy blockchain on the governmental level. Just recently, Kenyan Distributed Ledgers and Artificial Intelligence task force chairman Bitange Ndemo said that the government should consider tokenizing the economy to deal with the “increasing” rates of corruption and uncertainties. According to Ndemo, this move would have the government print less of the hard currency.
Last June, “decentralized liquidity network” Bancor, in cooperation with non-profit foundation Grassroots Economics launched a network of blockchain-based community currencies in Kenya working towards combating poverty. The project aims to stimulate local and regional commerce and peer-to-peer activity by enabling Kenyan communities to create and manage their own digital tokens.
While blockchain- and token-based projects are continuously being applied within the country, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) is cautious when it comes to cryptocurrencies. In April of this year, the CBK issued a circular to all the banks in the country, warning them against dealing with crypto or engaging in transactions with crypto-related entities.