RBZ needs your help with the development of a cryptocurrency. Just 33 questions

Edwin Chabuka Avatar
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, RBZ, Fintech Regulatory Sandbox MPC RBZ

Remember a time when a number of cryptocurrency startups in Zimbabwe were banished from existence? And it was by the RBZ. Okay to be fair some of them were not as sound as anyone would have liked but the manner in which they were disbanded was pretty harsh. All the while in South Africa there were cryptocurrency ATMs and recently Pick and Pay SA announced that it now accepts crypto for groceries.

But they have been warming up to the idea of cryptocurrency. Zimbocash was allowed to operate after it had sorted out its KYC side of things. The central bank even opened up a Fintech Sandbox for startups looking to explore blockchain technology. Cryptocurrency was not part of the sandbox though which was a bit of an anti-climax. However, in a tweet, the RBZ announced that they are now very interested. So much so that they need your input on it.

As part of efforts to explore Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), the Bank is conducting a Consumer Survey on CBDC. Your response is important. Follow this link to complete the survey https://forms.office.com/r/WZsyGqZCv7 Kindly respond by 7 December 2022.

RBZ Twitter page

What is a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC)?

Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC): A Central Bank Digital Currency is a digital representation of a national currency issued by the central bank for use by the general public. It should be noted that CBDC will be a complement to existing payment options in the country such as cash, mobile money, and bank cards, among others.

RBZ CBDC Consumer Survey

Essentially it’s going to feel like ZIPIT to a lot of people in how it works. It will be the same Zimbabwean dollar allowing you to perform the same transactions you already could perform with your bank or mobile money wallet. From a use case point of view it, according to the RBZs definition, is going to work the same way as current payment options.

What could be different is how it operates in the background. The underlying technology in most cases is based on blockchain technology. It’s simply a technology that uses trusted parts of the network to verify every transaction on the network. This ensures transparency on every transaction made on the network. I am giving an oversimplified definition but you can click here if you want to go deeper down that rabbit hole.

Who else is doing CBDCs?

Nigeria was the first African country to issue a CBDC that they dubbed the e-Naira in October 2021. A year after its launch, 700 000 transactions have been made using the e-Naira. It’s a pretty small figure when you compare it to 1.4 billion transactions on Nigeria’s NIBSS Instant Payment system. Granted it’s a new technology and still in its pilot phase but this will probably be the trend in Zimbabwe.

According to the CBDC tracker, only 2 countries have fully launched CBDCs. Jamaica and the Bahamas. In Africa 15 countries are at different stages of development of their CBDCs. Nigeria (e-Naira) and Ghana (e-Cedi) are the only countries whose central banks rolled out pilots of their CBDCs. The other 13 countries, Zimbabwe included, are still in the research phase.

So CBDCs are still very new on the scene and still far from their final form. What is interesting is that since a CBDC is in a sense a form of technology, it can be developed to suit the characteristics of the economy the central bank operates. The hope then is it can do a better job of addressing the shortcomings of already existing payment options in the respective economies. Kudos to the RBZ for crowdsourcing ideas on the development of our CDBC.

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  1. Govs

    Thanks for the link and update, played my part.

  2. Citizen

    The government must understand that on monetary issues jus let the market decide. Coz the moment l saw the word rbz l lost all confidence remember bond notes

    1. Cots

      True, exactly what i responded on the survey

  3. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

    They seem to ask some reasonable questions. When the day comes some will be saying “they just introduce things without consulting people”. FYI, they don’t ask for anything emails or personal identifiers.

    #RegisterToVote #CompleteTheSurvey

    1. Samaita

      Kkkk questions can be “reasonable” BUT RBZ cannot be trusted, U thot you knew that by now. Never underestimate the power of TRUST!

      1. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

        What does lack of trust have to do with completing (not completing) the survey? Though it’s not mandatory, I don’t see the link.

  4. Anonymous

    Its high time they should lift a ban on crypto

  5. Realist

    It’s high time the central bank privatised

  6. Icho

    Got 2 questions for rbz

  7. Sus

    I’m gonna sound like a deep state theorist, but I am so sceptical of this! Giving away a detailed, centralised record of every transaction I’d be making? The possibility of my ability to transact being turned off on a whim? An app directly tied to government pinging my location and accessing other areas of my devices? Trusting my money will be there each morning I wake up despite whatever new policy with immediate effect is in effect? Hell naw, to the naw naw naw!!!!! I basically answered as much in the survey, but we know how projects with tender potential can go.

  8. Czar Nicholas The Last Born

    As above, I think the narrative has been twisted to make clickbait. They are looking into a Central Banking Digital Currency, not general crypocurrency adoption.

    1. Farai Mutambanengwe

      Correct, Czar, I was going to say the same thing. A digital/blockchain currency issued by a central bank is not a cryptocurrency.

  9. Nick stals

    You already have cryptocurrency. It’s called RTGS

  10. Dumza

    This article is misleading.CBDC and crypto are different things. Central bank digital currencies are controlled by the central bank whereas proper crypto is decentralized.
    The eNaira is failing dismally because of lack of trust in the corrupt central bank of Naija. RBZ is worse in terms of corruption. CBDC in the Zims=the useless bond or worse.

    1. Farai Mutambanengwe

      Yes true. Though honestly I’d rather trust a digital currency issued by a central bank, than one issued out of space. A CBDC enforces accountability on government, as any printing would immediately become obvious.

  11. King

    I don’t think this is CRYPTO🙍

    1. -_-

      True Blockchain is not crypto, crypto uses Blockchain technology.This CBDC is merely a Blockchain transactional network

  12. 👙🐐🐮


    1. Skinny pig

      Leonard chibaba maybe he took time off to go and see the Mrs in Sa