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PRESS STATEMENT: RBZ On Use Of Bitcoin And Other Cryptocurrencies In Zimbabwe

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RBZ Building entrance

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has issued a statement on the use of virtual currencies in Zimbabwe at a time when Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency is trading at a premium in Zimbabwe.

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Previously, in July, the RBZ had warned Zimbabweans against using Bitcoin as the central bank could not regulate it. Then in November the RBZ jut came out and plainly said bitcoin is not legal.

Now the central bank has issued a press statement encompassing all virtual currencies:

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PRESS STATEMENT

USE OF VIRTUAL CURRENCIES IN ZIMBABWE

The use of virtual currencies or cryptocurrencies is on the increase both locally and globally and there are entities that are facilitating the purchase and sale of virtual currencies in and outside the Zimbabwe. There are many virtual currencies in circulation, with Bitcoin being one of the most popular.

“Virtual currency” is defined by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF ), as “a digital representation of value, that can be digitally traded and functions as (1) a medium of exchange; and/or (2) a unit of account; and/or (3) a store of value, but does not have legal tender status.”

Virtual currency is different from fiat currency (also known as real currency, real money or national currency) which is the coin and paper money of a country that is designated as its legal tender. Virtual currency is also not the same as e-money, which is used to electronically represent and transfer value denominated in fiat currency.

Virtual currencies are not only unregulated but are also neither issued by public authority nor guaranteed by the State. In this regard virtual currencies are not in any way attached to notes and coins circulating in the country. Virtual currencies do not have legal tender status in Zimbabwe or in any jurisdiction in the world.

Virtual currencies are attractive to money launderers and other criminals because of the supposed anonymity and ease with which transactions can be conducted, on the internet and across borders.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe wishes to advise members of the public that the use of trading in cryptocurrencies or virtual currencies is not regulated by the country’s laws and presents risks such as money laundering, terrorism financing, tax evasion and fraud. Under the existing legal and regulatory dispensation, any person who invests in virtual currencies or participates in any transaction involving virtual currencies, does so at own risk and will not have legal protection from, or recourse against, any regulatory authority.

Dr J P Mangudya

Governor

20 December 2017


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9 thoughts on “PRESS STATEMENT: RBZ On Use Of Bitcoin And Other Cryptocurrencies In Zimbabwe

  1. So Mr Mangudya when I go to the bank regulated by RBZ I can’t draw my Bollar to buy groceries neither can I draw out my alleged US Dollar. If I use my “plastic money ” as you request to buy a school book for my child online it doesn’t work . Please enlighten me on the value of RBZ guarantee of the alleged Fiat currency in my bank account. What notes or coins back it as a point of interest ?

  2. “Virtual currency” is defined by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF ), as “a digital representation of value, that can be digitally traded and functions as (1) a medium of exchange; and/or (2) a unit of account; and/or (3) a store of value, but does not have legal tender status.” This is a clear definition of money. However, it’s up to the government to declare it to have legal tender status or not. They also did not declare it illegal. They are just warning traders about the risks involved.

  3. Vanhu vanonzi vana Jonso makamboita sei imi.Apa hapana zvawataura ndozvaungaitira press statement here izvozvo

  4. He just started facts nothing more nothing less… Bitcoin is not regulated… That’s all no opinion here

  5. These guys need to get up to speed with global events and trades. Countries are advancing with these currencies whilst African countries are ‘playing safe’. Let those who are daring enough make as much as they can before regulation takes an evil control. Once upon a time things like email and Internet we treated as fads, look where we are today!!

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