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Bitcoin is not legal: Zimbabwe’s Central Bank

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A senior official for Zimbabwe’s central bank is casting doubt on the legality of bitcoin in the country.

As quoted by local news source Chronicle, Norman Mataruka, director and registrar for the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, said that “bitcoin … is not actually legal” for use within the country.

Mataruka went on to say:

“In terms of the Bitcoin, as far as we are concerned, it is not actually legal. In Southern Africa, what we have done as regulators, we have said that we will not allow this in our markets”

However, it’s not entirely clear from the statement whether Mataruka was saying that bitcoin is not legal tender within Zimbabwe – that is, an officially recognized currency – or actually prohibited more widely.

Still, Mataruka reportedly noted that research is being undertaken within the central bank to determine the risks associated with cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, stressing that bitcoin will not be allowed until the central bank has drawn up a regulatory framework.

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

According to Chronicle, Zimbabwe’s central bank has previously warned that people who are involved investing in cryptocurrencies could lose their funds without recourse.

Bitcoin, which was brought to popularity in Zimbabwe through the MMM pyramid scheme, whereby members could “give help” and “ask for help” in the form of Bitcoin, managed to attract as many as 66 000 people.

 

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