Kenya announced that it would imply a 1.5% tax to all commissions foreign crypto companies earn from their customers, according to a report by Business Daily Africa from Apr. 25.

The new regulations include all foreign crypto exchanges that earn interest from facilitating buying and selling transactions of digital assets in Kenya, the Business Daily Africa article noted.

Commissions from over 4 million users

The new regulations broadened the existing 1.5% digital tax service that the country enforced on Jan. 1, 2021. This taxation was reserved for foreign businesses not registered in Kenya but offered digital services to Kenyans.

The value-added tax regulations mentioned the new expansion by stating:

“For the purposes of these Regulations [digital tax service], a taxable electronic, Internet or digital marketplace supply include…facilitation of online payment for, exchange or transfer of digital assets excluding services exempted under the Act.”

The regulations define digital assets as anything that provides value and is created and stored digitally. This definition includes cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and other forms of digital assets like “data, images, video, and written content.”

This definition of digital assets and the new expansion of the digital tax service covers the commission fees foreign crypto companies in the region generate from over 4 million users. Leading crypto exchanges like BinanceCoinbase, and Kraken also fall under the new regulations.

Kenya on crypto

As of the end of 2022, 10.71% of Kenyans own cryptocurrencies, according to data from Triple-A. This percentage equates to over 6.1 million individuals, which places Kenya as one of the biggest crypto markets in the African continent. On a global scale, Kenya is ranked as the 19th country with the most significant crypto adoption in Chainalysis’ 2022 Crypto Adoption report.

In addition to paying close attention to crypto as an investment tool, Kenya is also active in crypto mining as well. At the beginning of 2022, the country declared that it is welcoming Bitcoin (BTC) mining companies to set up shops in Kenya to use excess geothermal power to mine.

In addition to global companies, local citizens have also been investing in mining operations. In December 2022, a rural village went viral with its mining operations and how utilized the off-grid energy generated by mining to power its village.