This month, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) weighed in on cryptocurrencies, announcing that they would be making moves to establish a ban on cryptocurrency trading. In an official statement, the RBZ said:
“In order to safeguard the integrity, safety and soundness of the country’s financial system, and to protect the public in general, all financial institutions are hereby required to ensure that they do not you, trade, hold and/or transact in any way in virtual currencies.”
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Reports out this week state that Golix, the main cryptocurrency exchange in Zimbabwe have progressed with court proceedings against the RZ on the premise that the RBZ do not have the authority to implement these regulations. According to Golix, the only authority with the ability to pass any laws or regulations in Zimbabwe is the parliament itself and that therefore, the RBZ have broken the law in trying to establish this ban.
In order to continue with their propositions, the RBZ have closed all accounts that are related the cryptocurrencies and virtual currency activity, including accounts held by Golix. This has further called into question the legality of the move by the RBZ.
As it stands, both Golix and the RBZ are waiting for court proceedings to materialise. It does seem however that for the time being, the RBZ will have their way.
What will happen next?
Well, I’m no expert in the laws of Zimbabwe, however, if the regulations are deemed illegal, we should expect exchanges to come back online and of course, we should expect trading to continue. This may even follow a hefty compensation package between the RBZ and those effected. If, however Golix’s claims are rejected, the RBZ are sure to cement these regulations down and thus, force the whole of Zimbabwe to turn their back on cryptocurrencies.
In either scenario, we should expect the parliament of Zimbabwe to weigh in with some regulations of their own. Whilst we would like to see them remain open to cryptocurrencies, nothing can really be guaranteed, so therefore, we must wait and see what happens here.
Hopefully in time, the Zimbabwe parliament open up the idea of cryptocurrency in the country once more and hopefully the RBZ are made to back down. By totally repressing cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies, Zimbabwe are at risk of losing their place, in what could one day be an iconic crypto-revolution.