Cryptocurrency Bitcoin is illegal – Zimbabwe’s central bank

Zimbabwean Central Bank Prohibits the use of Bitcoin

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Announcement has been made by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwean Central Bank, that Bitcoin is illegal and the use of the cryptocurrency is no longer permitted within the country. RBZ has already issued a warning in the past stating that Bitcoin investors could lose their investments without remedy.

According to Norman Mataruka, the Zimbabwean Central Bank’s Director and Registrar, the use of “Bitcoin … is actually illegal” within the country’s jurisdiction. However, it is not clear if Bitcoin is just not officially recognized as an official currency or it is totally forbidden as a legal tender within the country.

“In Southern Africa, what we have done as regulators, we have said that we will not allow [Bitcoin] in our markets.”

Central bank assessing Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies’ risks and potentials

Aside his negative comment on Bitcoin, Norman has also said that the Central bank of Zimbabwe has launched a research and development (R&D) initiative in order to examine the risks associated to the use of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. He added that the use of Bitcoin is illegal within the country and will not be authorized until the central bank has already created and implemented a regulatory framework covering the virtual currencies.

This comment shows that the central bank is keeping an open mind on the possible legalization of cryptocurrencies in the country.

Other South African countries’ positions on cryptocurrencies

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is not the only regulator opposing the conventional adoption of virtual currencies like Bitcoin.

In October 2017, the Namibian Central Bank announced that it will place a ban on the use of Bitcoin as a payment medium. It also added that it will not allow the instituting of cryptocurrencies exchanges within its jurisdiction.

According to the Namibian central bank officials:

“In addition to the bank not recognizing virtual currencies as legal tender in Namibia, it also does not recognize it to be a foreign currency that can be exchanged for local currency.”

The recent political conflict within the country caused the price of Bitcoin to shoot up to 12,500 in the country as the country struggles with 95% unemployment rate.

Read more about Bitcoin in Zimbabwe here

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