Bitcoin, Crypto currency, Blockchain

All things (un)clear: the regulation of crypto-currencies in Africa

9e22d6f79da1afa3997901813b23188d - All things (un)clear: the regulation of crypto-currencies in Africa


The pan-African Ecobank has currencies, a Report on the regulation of Cryptography in countries South of the Sahara developed. The balance sheet Only in two of the studied Sub-Saharan Nations, the authorities are faced with the digital money positive.

Regulatory uncertainty is one of the main reasons why the mass adaption of Bitcoin and co. are still awaiting it. This ambiguity is also reflected in a study of Ecobank, which examines the regulatory Status quo in Africa, and in particular the countries South of the Sahara. Almost half of the Nations ‘ currencies, has no official position on Crypto. Really, these are prohibited only in Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland, by contrast, Bitcoin and co. are kind to officially. The official points of view of other Nations, vary between the distrustful observation and cautious Approach.

Namibia: a complete prohibition, because it is not centrally covered

The Report contains a map of the investigated Nations in color according to the current Regulation. A red spot falls immediately into the eye: Namibia. The Land in the southwest of Africa is studied, the only, are prohibited in the crypto-currencies officially. The justification is to be found in a position paper of the Namibian national Bank from September of last year. It says:

“Besides the fact that the Bank virtual currencies in Namibia does not recognise as legal tender, does not recognize that it is a foreign currency can be exchanged in local currency. This is because virtual currencies issued are secured by neither a Central Bank nor guaranteed by goods”

The same Paper acknowledges the potential of crypto-currencies, to speed up Transfers. Nevertheless, for the time being, a moneta non grata in Namibia remains Bitcoin.

The green light in South Africa and Swaziland

The situation is different in South Africa. Crypto-currencies enjoy, although there is not yet full legality, however, the government is committed to creating a regulatory framework for dealing with cryptocurrencies. To serve this purpose since July of 2017, the existing cooperation of the government and the block chain companies Bankymoon, for example. The South African Central Bank has already currencies last year, positive signals in relation to the recognition of Crypto as legal means of payment sent. The South African tax authority South African Revenue Services (SARS) is looking for, meanwhile, is actively seeking Ways in which currencies can tax transactions, and investments with Crypto appropriately. In April of this year she has decided that income from crypto transactions must, in principle, be considered as capital income is taxed.

The South African landlocked country of Swaziland has been shown to crypto-currencies to also open. The Central Bank of the monarchy, which is one of the poorest countries in the world, has spoken at a conference in October last year to virtual currencies:

“It would probably be unwise to discard crypto-currencies and we, as the CBS [Central Bank of Swaziland] are learning, and want to support Innovation. If this is Innovation, we don’t want to nip it in the Bud. We want to know more about you.”

Uncertainty prevails

The Regulatory bodies in nine of the 39 surveyed Nations see crypto-currencies generally critical. These countries include, among others, Nigeria, Ethiopia, the democratic Republic of the Congo and Kenya. It should, however, give evidence that these countries observe the development in the field of crypto currencies closely. In six countries there is evidence of research efforts in the crypto area, however, these are often accompanied by warnings from the regulatory authorities. In addition to the Senegal, Zimbabwe, Cameroon and Ghana include, among other things, these crypto-curious Nations.

With 21 Nations examined, the overwhelming majority has no official line to Bitcoin and co. The Situation in Africa is different in this regard, so it’s not really from the Rest of the globe.

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