Here Are Different Stances on Cryptocurrencies by African Governments And Regulators
The advent of cryptocurrencies has provided the several nations with, amongst other benefits, much-needed economic flexibility in handling transactions across different financial markets and time zones. The same can’t be said of the African market which is known for its slow growth in the areas of infrastructures, innovations, and technology.
There is no need to be surprised if the continent still hasn’t caught up with the cryptocurrency wave. Such is to be expected from a continent whose financial regulators are so careful to not allow anything at all to tamper with their control of the market let alone a virtual currency. They hold a very tight fist over the market – cryptocurrency is seen as breaking the ranks, something the financial regulators aren’t in support of.
Nigeria: Proceed at your own risk
Bitcoin is a hot digital asset in Bitcoin, and it can partly thank a busted online Ponzi scheme for a relatively painless inoculation into mainstream awareness.
The Central Bank of Nigeria has already warned people to deal in cryptocurrencies at their own risk, pending substantive regulation.
Kenya: Still Looking into it
Kenyan regulators had been dormant on cryptocurrencies and blockchain. However, now the Kenyan government became rather proactive. President Uhuru Kenyatta directed that a blockchain and AI taskforce be created, to explore the use of blockchain technology within Kenya’s existing economic framework.
South Africa: Deciding to Tax Cryptocurrencies
In August 2017, Bitcoin” from South Africa topped worldwide Google search trends. While the South African Reserve Bank thas no definite stance on Bitcoin, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) apparently considers cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin as intangible assets and has said that it will apply normal income tax rules.
Egypt: Do Cryptocurrencies Comply with Sharia?
T launch of Bitcoin exchange in Egypt that was announced in August 2017 excited many. However, it all came down when the Central Bank’s reaction to the development, which was to swiftly disavow cryptocurrencies and say that it had no plans to recognize or regulate them. This position got some serious religious reinforcement when Egypt’s Grand Mufti, Shawki Allam, said that cryptocurrency trading is forbidden under Islamic Sharia law.
Rwanda: It’s interesting, but it’s risky
The Central Bank of Rwanda’s official position to citizens on Bitcoin is something along the lines of don’t invest, because it’s too risky, and we cannot save you if things go sideways. They are also cautious of how cryptocurrencies are ideal for facilitating dubious transactions like money laundering and terrorism. But it has acknowledged that Bitcoin is worth looking at in the long run.
Botswana: Stay Away!
Botswanan cryptocurrency enthusiasts are perhaps some of the most receptive to bitcoin and blockchain technology in Africa but the Southern African country’s Central bank has no intention to regulate cryptocurrencies and warns its citizens to stay away.
Ghana: “Here’s an official statement”
Here’s what the Bank of Ghana had to say about cryptocurrencies, in a statement:
“The Bank of Ghana wishes to notify the general public that these activities in digital currency are currently not licensed under the Payments System Act 2003 (Act 662). The Bank of Ghana is currently investing a lot of resources to further enhance the payments and settlements system, including digital forms of money and also to introduce cyber security guidelines to safeguard electronic and online financial transactions.”
Some banks agree too, refusing to adopt bitcoin and blaming the lack of regulation.
Mauritius: Not interested!
The Bank of Mauritius warned against cryptocurrency trading saying,
“… cryptocurrencies are not issued or guaranteed by the Bank. Users of cryptocurrency are exposed to risks. The public is advised that exchange platforms for cryptocurrencies are unregulated. The Bank will not accept any responsibility in case of any loss which members of the public may incur on account of any dealing in unregulated cryptocurrencies.”
However, the country’s largest bank (by market share), State Bank of Mauritius (SBM), currently accepts cryptocurrency as loan collateral, showing the private sector’s willingness to adopt cryptocurrency while regulators drag their feet.
Morocco: Dirhams or nothing.
The Moroccan Foreign Exchange Authority and its central bank have disavowed all forms of cryptocurrency by imposing threatening penalties to those who get involved in such dealings.
The ban was setup after a local digital services company, MTDS, announced that it would start accepting bitcoin payments, although there is no evidence that both incidents are connected. The company has since shelved those plans.
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