Zimbabwe Seeks Public Input for Crafting Crypto Regulatory Framework

Zimbabwe Seeks Public Input for Crafting Crypto Regulatory Framework

Zimbabwe is reaching out to the public for feedback on cryptocurrency regulation as the nation endeavors to integrate emerging technologies into its economic framework.

According to a government announcement published in a state-run newspaper, Zimbabwe is soliciting comments on crypto operations from both local and international cryptocurrency service providers who cater to Zimbabwean customers. The feedback, due by June 26, aims to help the government “assess and understand” the cryptocurrency landscape. To facilitate this, a committee has been formed to engage with operators within the crypto ecosystem.

Excluded from international capital markets since 1999 due to defaulting on debt obligations, Zimbabwe is exploring new avenues to bolster its economy. In 2023, the country issued its first digital token backed by gold as part of efforts to stabilize its economy after years of financial turmoil. More recently, in April this year, Zimbabwe introduced a new currency, ZiG, in its sixth attempt to stabilize the monetary system amid high inflation rates. This currency replaced the Zimbabwean dollar, which had experienced multiple crashes since its reintroduction in 2019, exacerbating inflation.

While the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has historically maintained a cautious stance on cryptocurrencies, emphasizing the need to protect consumers and the financial system, the issuance of the gold-backed token and the launch of ZiG suggest a shift towards exploring digital solutions to economic challenges.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) noted in a research report that only a quarter of countries in sub-Saharan Africa have formal regulations for cryptocurrencies. Approximately two-thirds have implemented various restrictions, while six countries, including Cameroon and Ethiopia, have outright banned crypto. In Zimbabwe, the government has ordered all banks to cease processing crypto-related transactions.

This move to seek public input marks a significant step as Zimbabwe navigates the complex and rapidly evolving world of digital finance, aiming to harness the potential benefits of cryptocurrencies while ensuring robust regulatory oversight.

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