Sarafu: A Cryptocurrency for Kenyan Rural Communities

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In June 2019, Ruddick was considering how to embed the management of a cryptocurrency in the rural Kenyan communities that were to use it. Initially introduced as paper currencies managed by a cooperative of rural residents, moving the currency system onto the blockchain implied a change in the monetary design. The case describes communal structures that organize economic life in rural Kenya, as well as the monetary design features of the Sarafu cryptocurrency. It then invites students to consider how the cryptocurrency system could be redesigned to anchor the management of the cryptocurrency in the communities that are to benefit from it.

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