Reserve Bank Zimbabwe says bitcoin is illegal
The Reserve Bank Zimbabwe (RBZ) has said that bitcoin is illegal in the country and has warned people against using the digital currency, according to Techzim.
Norman Mataruka, RBZ director and registrar of banking institutions, recently said:
“In terms of the Bitcoin, as far as we are concerned, it not actually legal. In Southern Africa, what we have done as regulators, we have said that we will not allow this in our markets.
“Research is currently being undertaken to ascertain the challenges and risks associated with these particular products and until we have actually established and come up with a legal and regulatory framework for them, it will not be allowed.”
The comments come at a time when bitcoin is being touted as Zimbabwe’s crisis currency. Bitcoin price on Golix, Zimbabwe-based bitcoin exchange, is over $14,000, as compared to global levels of around $8,100, at the time of writing.
The country has been facing financial crisis for years now. The hyperinflation situation in 2008 and 2009 and subsequent abandoning of the Zimbabwean dollar in 2009, drove people towards other avenues to safeguard their savings. Bitcoin, which emerged around this time, appeared to be one such attractive avenue for the people.