Zimbabwe plans to develop a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies

  • Zimbabwe has launched a public consultation on cryptocurrencies, seeking views from crypto service providers.
  • The aim of the consultation is to recommend an appropriate regulatory framework for cryptocurrency and cryptocurrency service providers.
  • As part of the national assessment process, a multi-stakeholder committee was formed to consult with stakeholders in the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

The invitation to participate is open to all cryptocurrency service providers, whether they are based in Zimbabwe or outside the country but serve Zimbabwean customers.

The government defines cryptocurrency service providers as individuals or entities that provide blockchain, cryptocurrency, or related services, such as cryptocurrency exchanges, brokers, merchants, management service providers, developers, miners, validators, and custodial and non-custodial wallet hosts.

Participation requires completing a survey, which must be sent by June 26, 2024.

According to the government, the initiative is in line with global trends and best practices and aims to assess and understand Zimbabwe’s cryptocurrency and virtual asset landscape.

Additionally, the government intends to assess the nature and scope of Zimbabwe’s cryptocurrency ecosystem, as well as the risks associated with it, such as money laundering, terrorist financing and other illicit activities.

Zimbabwe has announced plans to launch a virtual gold-backed token, the Zimbabwe Gold-Backed Digital Currency, in May 2023, with the intention of using it as legal tender alongside the Zimbabwe dollar and bonds. This move was taken in response to the country’s currency crisis.

By April 2024, Zimbabwe introduced ZiG (Zimbabwe Gold) to replace the Zimbabwe dollar, with the aim of establishing a credible national currency and stimulating the economy.

The ZiG is now the country’s official currency, marking Zimbabwe’s sixth attempt at creating a functional local currency in 15 years. Additionally, Zimbabwe has restored mobile payment services to encourage adoption of the new currency.

In April 2024, the Government of Kenya established a multi-agency technical working group, including the Central Bank of Kenya, to develop a regulatory and monitoring framework for cryptocurrencies known as virtual assets (VAs) and virtual asset service providers (VASPs). This move by the Kenyan government comes amid concerns over fraud and money laundering.

Be the smartest in the room

Join 30,000 subscribers who receive Techpoint Digest, an entertaining 5-minute digest of what’s happening in Africa and tech, straight to your inbox, hours before everyone else.