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Capital Markets

Blockchain use team says looking at digital register for SMEs

L-R: Blockchain taskforce chairman Bitange Ndemo, NSE chief executive Geoffrey Odundo and vice chair Bob Karina and ICT Authority acting CEO John Sergon. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA
L-R: Blockchain taskforce chairman Bitange Ndemo, NSE chief executive Geoffrey Odundo and vice chair Bob Karina and ICT Authority acting CEO John Sergon. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA 

A government taskforce exploring the use of blockchain technology and artificial intelligence (AI) is creating an African Digital Asset Register that will be used to raise funds for nurturing small enterprises.

The taskforce chairman Bitange Ndemo on Tuesday said the team wants to grow small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) so that they can list at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) on the growth enterprise market segment (GEMs).

“I’m certain that these are the companies that we are going to see on the GEMs segment in the next few years. We are going to form the African Digital Asset Register, and once in place, it will start to raise funds through Initial Coins Offer (ICOs),” said Dr Ndemo during the launch of NSE mobile app for real-time monitoring in Nairobi.

Dr Ndemo said the taskforce is currently in discussion with Capital Markets Authority (CMA) and Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) on the matter.

“We are now beginning to understand these new things and we encourage that we take them on-board,” said Dr Ndemo.

The GEMs segment at the NSE can facilitate SMEs raise substantial initial and ongoing capital, while benefiting from increased profile and liquidity within a regulatory environment designed specifically to meet their needs.

Dr Ndemo said the team is currently validating some elements on the register and will be making key recommendations to the regulators.

“We’ll recommend a coin, recommend a framework on funding SMEs, a legal framework, and a sandbox to experiment before it is released to the market,” said Dr Ndemo.

Regulators have warned investors against taking part inICOs being issued, saying t they have not been approved and such have considerable risk exposure to the investors.

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