After issuing a statement in the past stating that people who invest their money in digital currencies are at risk of losing it without recourse, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe announced yesterday that the use of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin is not allowed in the country. However, things are looking rather confusing as the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s Director and Registrar, Norman Mataruka has failed to clarify whether Bitcoin is not officially recognised as an authorized currency or it is totally prohibited 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.”
Despite this, good news is that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has launched a commission based on a research and development initiative that will be looking into the risks associated with the use of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. For the time being, until the central bank has implemented a regulatory framework covering cryptocurrency, the use of Bitcoin in Zimbabwe is not allowed.
Bitcoin having a rough time in South Africa
The recent news from Zimbabwe came shortly after the Central Bank of Namibia announced that the use of Bitcoin as a payment option for goods and services is prohibited. The official statement coming from Namibian central bank officials reads:
“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 tumultuous state of political affairs in the country recently saw the price of Bitcoin shooting up to $12,500 as the country struggles with 95% unemployment rate.