The Reserve bank of Zimbabwe has announced that bitcoin is not technically legal in the country.
While avoiding restrictions on bitcoin and crypto use around the country, the reserve bank clarified its own position by claiming till sufficient safeguarding procedures and legal frameworks are developed to incorporate bitcoin, bitcoin is not “allowed” in the country.
“In terms of the bitcoins, as far as we are concerned, it’s 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 on, being undertaken to ascertain the challenges and risks associated with these particular products,” said Norman Mataruka, director and registrar of banking institutions at the RBZ in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe is currently embroiled in a political crises after the abrupt resignation of Robert Mugabe today. Leaving the country leaderless interim, The economy too has suffered considerably with many pulling liquidity from securities, looking to invest into cryptocoins and forex which has considerably more stability. In addition to restricted forex availability, prices of Bitcoin have become inflated to the $15000 in exchanges across the country, despite the current global average standing at the $9000 point.
To conclude, amid the political crises occurring in the country, the announcement by the central bank comes s a blow for some bitcoin users. While this confirms that they wont receive any legal assistance in the event of a theft or financial problem, bitcoin will still remain a viable transfer of asset as it hasn’t been deemed outright illegal by the bank for now. The future for bitcoin in Zimbabwe however was consolidated slightly as a Mugabe steps down this weekend.