• Zimbabwe is now weighing the benefits and risks of cryptocurrency through consultation

  • Zimbabwe has been one of the African countries paying attention to its citizens’ growing interest in cryptocurrency. In fact, they have expressed a willingness to regulate the industry. According to reports, the Zimbabwean government is considering adopting cryptocurrency as a legal payment service to address this growing interest and make use of the technology.

    According to a report by Bulawayo 24News, Brigadier General [Retired] Charles Wekwete, the Permanent Secretary and Head of the e-government Technology Unit in the Office of the President and Cabinet, has stated that consultations with the private sector are underway. Africa is an ideal market for testing and implementing cryptocurrency, and many businesses are now focusing on products and services tailored to specific African countries.

    The primary service provided by the technology is to bridge the cross-border payment gap that exists between African countries and other countries. According to Chainalysis data, Africa received more than $105.6 billion between July 2020 and mid-2021. Meanwhile, with a transaction volume of 7%, the continent leads in retail-sized Bitcoin payments.

    Zimbabwe, on the other hand, has been skeptical of the same due to the possibility of externalization of funds, money laundering, and illicit fund flow.

    Wekwete believes that many governments around the world are “still trying to understand and properly try to create policies” on cryptocurrencies. He continued,

    “In our case, we were initially trying to understand their implications because they are a fundamental departure from previously known financial instruments, and there are many fears about cross-border fund movement, money laundering, externalization of funds, and illicit flow of funds to fund illicit issues.”

    Currently, the government is soliciting input from various sectors of society in order to develop policies. According to the official, the country is still in the consultation phase and will make no major statements. Crypto-participants from the private sector who are present in the country are also exchanging ideas about the technology and adding to the Minister of Finance’s recent statement about the growing participation of youth in crypto.

    Zimbabwe’s government recently adopted the digital economy framework as part of National Development Strategy 1 [NDS1] in order to coordinate efforts across the public and private sectors in dealing with the emerging concept of the digital economy. The Computer Society of Zimbabwe has recognized the opportunities in crypto as the government realizes that “cryptocurrency cannot be ignored.” Allen Saruchera, president of CSZ, believes

    “It brings together all of the necessary players, and we have knowledgeable people in our sector.” We must ensure security, and it is our responsibility to share and demonstrate what can be done.”

    Zimbabwe may find a way to solve its financial problems as it embarks on its crypto-journey. However, according to Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube, cryptocurrency may not be granted currency status.

    While Nigeria has followed suit, it is now Zimbabwe’s turn to experiment with the potential outcomes for its citizens in light of evolving global crypto-trends.

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