Kenya’s new government says it is considering using bitcoin as a reserve currency and is open to considering the idea of a “bitcoin” reserve currency.
The central bank’s press office said Thursday that a central bank meeting in the capital Nairobi is set for Monday to discuss bitcoin, a digital currency whose value has skyrocketed over the past year after a record-breaking high.
It said Kenya is also open to exploring a cryptocurrency-based reserve currency that could help finance public infrastructure projects.
The government says bitcoin will be used to pay for food and other essential services.
In addition, it says it would like to see a bitcoin bank that can process and distribute bitcoin to the public.
A spokesman for Kenya’s central bank, Siva Muthama, told the Kenyan news agency Agence France-Presse in an e-mail that the government has been discussing bitcoin for some time and has received input from people.
Muthma said the central bank is also considering a virtual currency for remittances and would consider how this can be done.
Bitcoin has been on a meteoric rise over the last year as a result of the digital currency’s explosive growth.
Its value has soared above $2,000 per coin, rising from less than $1 per coin in 2012 to over $1,000 in 2017.
The currency has since fallen more than 50% against the dollar.
Its rapid rise has created new opportunities for businesses, as many people around the world are eager to use the digital asset as a form of payment and to pay a lower price.
The value of bitcoin is now more than five times that of the United States dollar, the biggest economy in the world.
Bitcoin also has attracted new attention in recent years as it has gained popularity among the public as a way to hide or trade illicit goods.
But its volatility has made it an attractive alternative for criminals, who have sought to evade the central banks strict rules on the use of virtual currencies.
Muthama said Kenya’s government is considering how bitcoin can be used in Kenya, but he declined to give any details about the government’s plans.