No, The Central Bank of Kenya is Not Switching to Bitcoin

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  • A post on a satire website which claimed that the Central Bank of Kenya was switching to Bitcoin has been taken as real by some on Twitter
  • The post, which also criticized the IMF, was mistaken as a genuine policy change by the the Central Bank of Kenya
  • It came the same day as Christine Lagarde said that central banks would never hold Bitcoin

There was some excitement yesterday when it appeared that the Central Bank of Kenya had decided to “switch to Bitcoin”, which sprouted a rash of ‘huge if true’ comments. Unfortunately, yet utterly predictably, this turned out to not be the case, with the source being a satire website that mocked the country’s monetary policy, although some didn’t realize this and re-posted it as genuine news.

Central Bank of Kenya Happy With the Shilling

The post, dated February 10, claimed that the Central Bank of Kenya had announced an “ambitious” plan to “switch to Bitcoin as a blanket move to solve thousands of problems facing the country.” The piece went on to quote Central Bank of Kenya Governor Patrick Njoroge as saying that moving to Bitcoin would “help cushion Kenya from volatile a [sic] shilling, shortage of foreign currency reserves, increase velocity of money and shield Kenya from exploitative loans that threaten the sovereignty of Kenya.”

The piece also seemed to criticize the International Monetary Fund (IMF), further quoting Njoroge as saying that the switch to Bitcoin was “both tactical and logical” because the Kenyan shilling has “always been the punching bag for the International Monetary Fund” and that “we are losing too much simply because someone at IMF woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Bitcoin will put an end to this.”

“Out of the Question” For Central Banks to Hold Bitcoin

The piece, which does not cite any sources and has not been ratified by any of the quoted individuals, appeared on satirical website Postamate, which calls itself the ‘Home of Satire and Sarcasm”. Still, this didn’t stop some from re-posting it as genuine news:

The Central Bank of Kenya post appeared on the same day as European Central Bank president Christine Lagarde said that the prospect of central banks holding Bitcoin was “out of the question”.