Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Bans Cryptocurrency Trading. Banks Given 60 days To Comply (Full Statement)

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SI, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, RBZ Blocked Funds

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has issued a directive to Zimbabwean financial institutions prohibiting them from working with Cryptocurrency exchanges or holding any accounts of people trading in cryptos. The central bank has given financial institutions 60 days to end their existing relationships with crypto-currency exchanges.

Here’s the full circular issued on 11 May 2018:


1. Further to the Circular dated 16 November 2015 and Press Statement issued by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (the Reserve Bank) on 20 December 2017 on the use of virtual currencies in Zimbabwe, banking institutions’ attention is once again drawn to the risks involved with virtual currencies and the need to ensure strict adherence to sound risk management.

2. Our investigations have revealed that the major cryptocurrency exchanges facilitating the trade of virtual currencies in Zimbabwe are Bitfinance (Private) Limited (Golix) and Styx24. Golix has gone further to set up an ATM machine through which cryptocurrency transactions are facilitated.

3. As Monetary Authorities, the Reserve Bank is the custodian of public trust and has an obligation to safeguard the integrity of payment systems. Cryptocurrencies have strong linkages and interconnectedness with standard means of payments and trading applications and rely on much of the same institutional infrastructure that serves the overall financial system.

4. Financial regulators around the world have identified the dangers and risks presented by virtual currencies to financial stability which include risk of loss due to price volatility, theft or fraud, money laundering and other criminal activities. Further, cryptocurrencies can be used to facilitate tax evasion as well as externalization of funds in violation of a country’s laws.

5. 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:

a. ensure that they do not use, trade, hold and/or transact in any way in virtual currencies;

b. ensure that they do not provide banking services to facilitate any person or entity in dealing with or settling virtual currencies; and

c. exit any existing relationships with virtual currency exchanges within sixty days of the date of this Circular and proceed to liquidate and restitute existing account balances.

6. For the avoidance of doubt, banking services include maintaining accounts, registering, trading, clearing, collateral arrangements, remittances, payment and settlement accounts, giving loans against virtual tokens, accepting them as collateral, opening accounts of exchanges dealing with them and transfer / receipt of money in accounts relating to purchase/ sale of virtual currencies.

7. Be advised accordingly.

N. Mataruka Registrar of Banking Institutions May 2018

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  1. Jay M

    Its sad how we are quick to condemn things we dont understand or comprehend. Banning the future.

  2. SirMbedzi

    Where is this country headed really?

    1. ta

      to the stone age

  3. Golix

    A sad day

  4. ShameOnRBZ

    “cryptocurrencies can be used to facilitate tax evasion as well as externalization of funds in violation of a country’s laws.” The irony and ignorance of RBZ, I actually use Golix to send money home from abroad at much lower fees the the likes of western union and moneygram. These fools can’t be helped!

    1. concernedcustomer

      is the country benefiting in any way when you send the money via Golix, i dont think so. The RBZ is not able to control the cryptocurrency transactions hence they will be tax evasions and money laundering. Good move RBZ

      1. angle_ractifier

        Dude, your brain is as primitive as f*c*. You clearly don’t understand what progress is all about. You are telling us that we should stop here because RBZ is “not able to control”. Rather than inversing in active education, learning and hiring, or training, people with the skills and knowledge – which will create jobs and facilitate innovation, you prefer to chicken-out and enjoy the comfort of your poverty and ignorance. Fool!!! F.Y.I, Golix is a registered company that complies with all Zimra regulation and every crypto transaction is levied and taxed accordingly. Unotoda shamhu chaiyo, kukuudza hakushandi

        1. leonard

          yeah yeah whatever. bye bye golix and styx24

      2. ShameOnRBZ

        Is the country benefiting when the RBZ intercepts all forex remittances and uses a “priority list” that they came up with to dish forex to their friends who then fuel the black market. Stop being so naive and grow up!

        An exchange is a place where willing seller and willing buyer meet and transact. If the RBZ had a forex exchange for importers and exporters then there would be no black market! What are they afraid of? Stop showing your shallowness for all to see.

      3. General

        So rather than crafting a law to TAX the flow of the currency we BAN it? If I send money to my brother using golix and he spends it in zim does that not benefit this country? Here is a transfer that requires no nostro accounts to be settled (thus no foreign currency settlements needed) but this cash strapped national bank bans a possible panacea to their perennial woes. Crypto volumes are pretty much insignificant in Zimbabwe at the moment, this is an opportunity for them to study this sector and the underlying blockchain to perhaps find solutions to the highlighted risks and other applications of this technology. When central banks act out of fear and not vision our suffering is only prolonged.

      4. Clive

        Will look at this comment 10years from now without shame, Zimbabweans probably need digital currencies more than any other country but then again what do I know.

  5. Fuck RBZ

    This shows how letting our ancestors run the country can do to embrace the future.

  6. John

    I thought Zimbabwe was open for business?

    1. Farai Mudzingwa

      Haha, this is a very closed for business approach they’ve taken here but this is not a law just a directive, so there is still hope

    2. Cryptofundi

      Me too

    3. Anonymous

      Anyone who thinks that Zim is better off now than it was under Bob, is dreaming. It is out of the frying-pan into the fire

  7. Van Lee Chigwada

    Finaly doing their work.
    This ban is long over-due.

    People are gambling, being fleeced and scammed by imaginery money that has zero value, not to mention the energy wasted mining Bitcoin.
    And those scammers doing Bitcoin clubs.

    Following suite with Google, this is a wise call.

    And all these people complaining, nobody understands Bitcoin.

    1. kilotango

      100% agreed

    2. angle_ractifier

      To import a vehicle, you need to “buy” USD on the black market. To get cash( bond money) you need to wait in line overnight in the shivering cold at a bank queue, just to get 30 bond the next day. You cannot pay fees to a child studying abroad or even in a neighboring SADC country without the rustle of buying black market USD. Crypto was providing a solution to some of our numerous problems. You fools are the reason why Zimbabwe will never compete at world class level. Fools

      1. kilotango

        sour grapes.. lol

    3. Leslie

      If you manage to BAN traders from trading foreign currency first then go for bitcoin exchange last, priority comes first

    4. ShameOnRBZ

      A gambler blaming golix for his stupidity is like an alcoholic blaming a bottle store for his drunkness. This shows your mindset of failing to take responsibility for ones actions. If you are scammed then tough luck, it’s your own fault for failing to do adequate research. You ever heard of natural selection? A good read up on that could open your mind my friend.

    5. Citizenvier

      Umm you need to get your facts in order, Google did not ban any cryptocurrencies it banned plugins from running malicious code that mined cryptocurrencies! There is a big difference.

      You should spend 5minutes and educate yourself on how cryptocurrencies work. It’s not a negative thing, it’s just that the wrong people have been using them.

      If the control of money is decentralized it would actually help the economy especially with the inflation rate which seems to be a common problem for the last 30 or so years. If there is no one governance then it’s the people that determine its value!

  8. Tawanda Nyagwaya

    There is no ignorance like poverty. Instead of being enablers of innovation, our regulatory institutions like the RBZ choose to be the opposite.

  9. nelson moyo

    I traded my bitcoins through a company called BOLLOCKS – when i tried to contact them today it sounded as if they had disappeared.

  10. ThanksGolixandStyx24

    I live overseas and I have been taking USD$millions out of Zimbabwe via cryptocurrencies exchanges (Goxil and styx24) while you Zimbabweans face cash shortages and que for hours waiting to withdraw your useless bond notes.

    RBZ is doing the right thing for Zimbabwe.

    Innovation WHAT?? Cryptocurencies are not a Zimbabwean innovation project but people are using them to steal money from Zimbabwe. But, because you Zimbabweans are fools and fast asleep you think RBZ is against technology. Can anyone of you tell me how much money they made from trading in bitcoins, I am not talking about stealing from each other each other. None of you has made any meaningfull profit yet you want to defend technology that is making your own country worse off. Please THINK!!!!! Do not be blinded by technology. Think for Zimbabwe and act for Zimbabwe.

    Well done RBZ.

    1. ShameOnRBZ

      Is the country benefiting when the RBZ intercepts all forex remittances and uses a “priority list” that they came up with to dish forex to their friends who then fuel the black market. Stop being so naive and grow up!
      An exchange is a place where willing seller and willing buyer meet and transact. If the RBZ had a forex exchange for importers and exporters then there would be no black market! What are they afraid of? Stop showing your shallowness for all to see.

      How is your externalising forex via Golix differen from the black market? RBZ has failed and trying to firefight. They should deal with the money changers at east gate and road port first. They looking easy targets or rather they taking out the competition that is killing their runners who trade forex

      1. Angle_Ractifier

        I have never seen such stupidity. You think you have taken out USDmillions, dumbas*. As long as you were buying bitcoin in zim, where it’s at a higher price, you made a huge loss because overseas you have to deposit you bitcoins at a lower price. Second, all of your transactions where charged a fee of 5-10% you are so stupid you can’t see how much you have lost. Golix and Styx24 should be thanking you.

    2. General

      You sound like a bright person if indeed you have been fleecing millions out of zimbabwe (though judging by the trading volumes on golix and styx I’m tempted to call you a liar). Anyway, let’s follow the money shall we? So say you have millions in your zim bank account and you want to move them to wherever you are. You go long on BTC at a price that’s 150% the global rate. Say you used golix for that transaction. Golix, which is a registered company, now has a balance of money in their account on behalf of the seller and also their commission. So far no money has left zim. You then transfer your coins to your other account held at an exchange in the US for example, where you then convert them to cash there. Good deal right? Unlike an ordinary forex transaction which requires cash settlement of currencies, your transaction is complete without the RBZ having to source USD to settle the nostros. Golix takes all the risk (but its partly covered by the premium on btc/usd rate). So how exactly have you stolen or diminished value from the Zimbabwean govt? All the govt needs to do is come up with plausible tax laws and regulation for cryptocurrency exchanges, e.g. SA’s new tax laws. Please explain why crypto advocates are “fools”. You say “none of you have made any meaningful profit” (even though you have made millions ha ha ha), have you considered that the real value of btc to Zimbabweans isn’t as a speculative instrument but rather a means to bypass the dire shortage of foreign currency that has led all banks to stop foreign transactions (you have to apply for forex…and there’s no guarantee)? Blinded by technology? Have you ever spent a day in Zimbabwe?

    3. Citizenvier

      Millions of USD I highly doubt that….. Taken that there is no exchange called Goxil. Or maybe its some deepweb site. But if you have been trading “Millions” then you are probably going to be contacted by some government because all trading accounts have to registered for tax reasons and there is a limit you are allowed to exchange before raising alarm bells.

      I’m sorry but I’m calling bullshit on your post and think that you are doing this just trying to add to the mass panic that “Cryptocurrencies are bad”

    4. BlessITuP

      Idiot… the logic in your argument is overwhelmingly flawed. The losses you would make are just too much. RBZ has people doing their bidding on the street. Crypto-trading is actually thriving because of the RBZ’s incompetence.

  11. Leslie

    This has to escalate, do you know what Hilux, just operate anonymously, deposits being done to specific random but connected accounts etc…

  12. Supedave

    There is saying that goes like, what you resist will persist and that is the case right here. Viva Crypto, there is no stopping it now.

  13. DNC

    Government will never win on this one. They have created illegal cryprocurrency exchanges.
    Entrepreneurs here is an opportunity!
    No more remittance from golix and the other exchanges.
    Relocated to other countries and zim is closed for business

  14. Cryptofundi

    We need to wake up and smell the coffee. Zimbabwe is more than 15 years behind when it comes to technology. Our mindset needs to be changed and refocused or else we will remain slaves of this bond economy.

    1. xixo

      unoreva chokwadi

  15. ThanksGolixandStyx24

    Many people around the world use Bitcoin exchanges to take money out of the country (and not just Zimbabwe), and others use it for many other reasons.
    Yes my fellow Zimbos, you may not like RBZ’s decision but it is in your and our country’s best interest.

    Cash shortage is caused by lack of confidence in ZANU PF. Given the Zimbabwean situation Bitcoin trading is not the solution but rather is part of the problem. In the current political climate Bitcoin trading is the same as black market forex trading. The only difference is that transactions are done electronically without physical cash movement.

    You probable do not like the decisions because it was made by ZANU PF. but my fellow countryman, me too I do not like ZANU, but this decision will make sure that cash is available in the banks and streets for you and your family to use. In reply to General Above: (1) you presented a theoretical model and not a practical econometric model with social consequences. (2) Golix does not take any risk on behalf of you or the country or RBZ, it only facilitates the illegal transfare (illegal because not authorised by anyone) of money out of the country while ripping you off by charging 150% normal rates. Instraed Golix is charging black market exchange rates. We are not at the same level as the developed countries e.g, Europe or USA. We need to operate within our means as a developing economy. The only risk Golix faces it that it may be hacked. The country and you General are the ones that face a massive CASH SHORTAGE RISK, ques outsibe banks, the list goes on. while Golix makes a profit that benefits just 5 people.

    Let us Vote ZANU out and then re-introduce cryptocurrency trading again once our beautiful country has stabilized. Thank you. Tatenda, Siyabonga

  16. ThanksGolixandStyx24

    thank you Angle_Ractifier above: You have just explained why Zimbabwe does not need these bitcoin exchanges. They are so expensive, it ridiculous.

  17. trygetusd

    Yo yo yo

    RBZ is a crap hole that don’t understand anything. Try focusing on getting FOREIGN CURRENCY to this damn pothole country. I’m surprised they even know how to spell the word “cryptography”.

    “Further, cryptocurrencies can be used to facilitate tax evasion as well as externalization of funds in violation of a country’s laws.” As IF our government isn’t doing this already. Please man.

    Did Trevor Noah write this statement, because it’s a joke.

  18. BlessITuP

    Idiot… the logic in your argument is overwhelmingly flawed. The losses you would make are just too much. RBZ has people doing their bidding on the street. Crypto-trading is actually thriving because of the RBZ’s incompetence.

  19. Derek Marawo

    I wonder how all these guys condemning this move think! please Tell us where these bitcoin companies operate from if not tell us their names if also not kindly advise us where these bitcoins are resident if also not then let RBZ do their work…… Thank you for plugging that loop hole regulator!
    Matsotsi wandisa.

  20. Thomas

    Title:None,Content:Yep these authorities, am amazed and disappointed to say the least. Back in 2012 I even suggested that as Zimbabwe we should use Bitcoin for our exports but the reason why that can’t happen as usual has come out and mostly being ignorant.

    Sorry to my folks but as Zimbos I know this is just a challenge we can overstep in a bit.

    Have just published my special report on Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies, hope if the governer also reads it he will then reverse his decision.

    You can get it from my blog at or simply go to my Twitter @Bitcoinguide2

  21. OurPolicyMakersAreStupid

    My friend, please explain how exactly the banning of Cryptos will make sure that we have “more cash available in the banks and in the streets for your family to use”? Are you saying Golix was internalizing funds? If so should they not be brought to book?
    You also seen to not fully understand how Golix works, golix doesn’t sell any bitcoin (or any cryptos for that matter) but rather what it does is provide a platform where people can auction the Cryptos amongst themselves… meaning that we, the people determine how much we are willing to buy/sell our bitcoin at, then wait someone to match our offer… so in essence, we are the ones who control the value price by simple supply and demand of the Cryptos…
    Lastly, this has little to do with the political party, yes, we all want change, but would we not have commended them had they put in place sound policies which are in tune with globalisation and current technology?