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Zimbabwe May Be Close To Adopting Crypto

Cryptocurrency in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe’s hardline attitude on cryptocurrency may be softening. Mthuli Ncube, the country’s increasingly crypto...

Cryptocurrency in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe’s hardline attitude on cryptocurrency may be softening. Mthuli Ncube, the country’s increasingly crypto-friendly finance minister, recently stated it would be hard for the country to ignore cryptocurrencies at this time.

Ncube feels that cryptocurrency will be best suited as an investment class instrument rather than legal cash, according to a Herald report. This means that the Victoria Falls stock exchange platform may list cryptocurrency-based items in the not-too-distant future.

The Central Bank of Zimbabwe published a statement in 2017 outlining its position on cryptocurrency use in the country. It said that Bitcoin and other digital currencies were not legal currencies and should not be considered as such. Zimbabwe’s laws do not govern virtual currencies, according to the central bank. As a result, they risk being used as facilitators for money laundering, fraud, tax evasion, and even terror financing.

Zimbabwe's currency.
Following this, the central bank instructed all banks under its jurisdiction to halt all digital currency transactions. These activities include holding, trading, or transacting in these currencies, as well as providing services to businesses that do so. Minister Ncube’s recent words may signal a shift in the Zimbabwean government’s attitude toward digital currencies. The minister appears to be lobbying for his administration and others to use blockchain technology to their advantage. That is, without relinquishing economic power.

Reducing costs and increasing remittance value 

With commission fees for all remittances from Zimbabweans residing abroad as high as 20%, disruptive technology like blockchain could dramatically reduce these costs, increasing the value of remittances to the Zimbabwean economy from its present 7%.

According to the minister, the Zimbabwean government has started the process of regulating digital currencies. The government has already put in place a regulatory sandbox in which bitcoin use in the country can be evaluated in a controlled environment.

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