Digitization of Assets using Blockchain Technology in Kenya

A DLBRT Recommendation to The Kenya ICT Blockchain & AI Taskforce Report

A Taskforce through the Ministry of ICT dubbed; The Blockchain and AI Taskforce was called upon to look into Blockchain Technology in February 2018. They further released a report in July 2019 showing how Distributed Ledgers and Artificial Intelligence can support the delivery of the Big 4 Agenda.

The key highlight from the report is how public service delivery can be done with Blockchain Technology though there are fears of government intrusion. To allay such fears, they proposed that parliament must pass the Data Protection Bill before the National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS) is fully operational.

The major highlights of a blockchain-based NIIMS on the report is as follows:

· To implement a secure digital identity service.

· To provide a single-source-of-truth for all government documents and services.

· To enhance public service delivery with transparent service level agreements for all citizens in all Huduma Centers.

· To enhance faster, more efficient processing of import and export documents by agencies such as KEBS, KRA, KPA, Police and Anti-Counterfeit units.

The Figure below is the schematic representation of how the identity Blockchain will work.

DLBRT Recommendation on Having A Digital Asset Framework:

The essence of trade is the negotiation and exchange of goods and services for: -

  • Money.
  • Other desired goods and services that are possessed by another. (Barter)

Currently, money is the only medium of exchange used at the moment since the barter system is prone to divisibility and integrity risk.

The barter system can only work in economies where: -

  • They experience large volatility in currency conversion.
  • They do not have sufficient financial resources/money but have large volumes of goods and services that can be traded for other goods and services.

The essence of having a digital asset framework is to improve barter trade in a manner that can enhance convenience and accessibility for buyers and sellers. This will enable us to move from the use of money; which is prone to exchange risk and is also not fully accessible to all.

How will the Suggested Digital Asset Framework work?

An Act; known as The Movable Property Security Rights Act was introduced in Kenya in 2017. The Act provides individuals and entities with access to credit facilities in exchange for movable asset(s) as collateral.

The combination of this Act with the blockchain-based NIIMS, we will be able to provide verification and integrity of public of data. Therefore movable assets and stakeholder behaviors will be managed efficiently.

Initially, an Ethereum smart contract will be created by a legal person for any movable asset based on the Movable Property Security Rights Act. Then, the movable asset(s) will be stored and managed in the blockchain database of the digital assets in KES/DAI form. Finally, we can be able to register, transfer and manage digital assets on a blockchain using the Act as a guide.

With response to having a proper execution in projects with relation to Blockchain, DLBRT took the initiative of creating awareness. This is by educating the masses on the promise of digitization of businesses using Blockchain Technology. We have been running a Blockchain for Business Course at Strathmore Business School that started in March 2019.

The course focuses on:

  1. Introduction To DLBRT- what is a blockchain and why it applies to public systems.
  2. Blockchain Architecture- how a blockchain works and the components of a smart contract.
  3. Smart Contract Templates — using the Kenya Movable Property Security Rights Act 2017 as a legal template for digitizing assets.
  4. Token Economics — how to create tokens/digital assets and how they operate on a blockchain.

This course is open and preferable to personnel in the finance, legal and IT sector. This includes the NIIMS coordination committee that is mandated with the coordination and implementation of the Big 4 Agenda.

The committee includes the following state departments:

• Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

• The National Treasury

• Ministry of Education

• Ministry of Labour and Social Services

• Office of the Attorney General

• National Police Service

• National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF)

• Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA)

• Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS)

• Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC)

Conclusion

The Vision 2030 has the aim of transforming Kenya into a modern, globally competitive, middle-income country offering a high quality of life for all citizens by the year 2030.

Within the Vision 2030, there are medium-term plans put in place to run every 5 years. The current medium-term plan is the Big 4 agenda which is meant to run from 2018 to 2022.

The Big 4 Agenda execution involves collaboration between the devolved/county governments and the national government working together to achieve the following basic needs for each “mwananchi” irrespective of the county they hail from.

1. A place of rest and tranquility (Affordable Housing).

2. Good health (Affordable Healthcare).

3. Continuous Food supply (Food Security).

4. A place of Vocation and earning a living (Manufacturing).

We hope to see in the coming future, digitization of assets taking place in Kenya as it will allow for financial liquidity for each “mwananchi” and implementation of the Big 4 Agenda.

“For every step taken forward, takes Kenya closer to the Vision 2030."

NB: References are in the article

Written by: Amos Mburu & Akram Mathu

Distributed Ledgers, Blockchain & Research Technologies (DLBRT) also pronounced as “Deliberate” is a Kenyan tech startup leveraging on distributed ledgers technologies to digitize institutions and businesses with a vision of making Kenya the Silicon hub in Sub Saharan Africa.

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Founder @DLBRT3 | Distributed Ledgers, Blockchain & Research Technologies