You Can’t Beat It: Zimbabwe Could Become The Next Country to Legalize Crypto

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, which is the country’s central bank, has begun making plans on how to create a regulatory framework that seeks to guide and monitor the activities of cryptocurrency-related companies according to a report on Monday.

The intention of the central bank was made known by the deputy director of financial markets and national payment systems for RBZ, Mr. Josephat Mutepfa, during a Sound Prosperity Economic Forum held in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe on Friday.

Mr. Mutepfa said that companies in the cryptocurrency space would have to meet up with the requirements that are to be outlined in the proposed regulatory framework, which notably includes the creation of a sandbox.

He said,

We have already started to come up with a fintech framework because in regulation everything should be well structured. The framework, which is a regulatory sandbox, will be assessing the crypto-currency companies as to how they are going to operate.

He added,  “Once you enter the sandbox, you either exist as a bonafide product to enter the market, or you are guided to say that you need to partner a bank, a mobile money platform or your product needs to be licensed like a microfinance company.”

Mr. Mutepfa made it clear that the sandbox will serve as an “experimenting zone” and that a standard will be set for the applicants, and this will work hand-in-hand with the regulatory sandbox.

He went on to mention that most fintech companies face the challenge of getting capital, acknowledging that unlike the local currency, which is regulated solely by the central bank, digital currencies can operate independently of the central bank, thus, minimizing loans coming to the companies.

Another problem that the government had to take care of was how to publicize the monetary policy in the various official languages to enable the growth of the country’s financial sector.

However, despite the struggle faced by a majority of industries in the country with regards to understanding exactly how cryptocurrency trading works, few of them are actually doing well in that regard.

One of such companies is SPURT, a local cryptocurrency-based trading consortium. The company’s business adviser, Brian Maseva, is optimistic that the regulatory framework will go a long way to improve the growth of the cryptocurrency market in the country.

“Meeting with the central bank will help us grow and attract the public to join the digital currency, which is fast taking over the financial sector. We are now aware that there is a policy, which elaborates more on fintech guidelines that we need to follow” Brian Maseva is quoted as saying in the report.

Moving away from Zimbabwe, cryptocurrencies are becoming increasingly popular around the world. Even central banks that were initially skeptical of them are now coming to terms with them. A few weeks ago, the Bank of Canada revealed plans of creating a digital currency, seeking public input on the matter.

Also, more recently, India and South Korea made court rulings and new regulations that effectively legalized the cryptocurrency industry.

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