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As bitcoin struggles to find its place as a legal tender for business transactions in many countries, director and registrar of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe’s Central Bank, Norman Mataruka has raised more doubts about the cryptocurrency’s authenticity in the country by an official statement released earlier this week.
The statement according to Chronicle, a local news agency, stated that “bitcoin…is not actually legal” for use within the borders of the country. Despite the political turmoil in the country regarding the resignation of His Excellency Robert Mugabe, the nation’s central bank seems unperturbed as it strives to maintain economic balance with deliberations on the legality of cryptocurrencies. Mr. Mataruka further stated that “In Southern Africa, what we have done as regulators, we have said that we will not allow [bitcoin] in our markets.”

Hope For Bitcoin ?

The incertitude actually lies in the fact that the statement does not make clear whether bitcoin is actually prohibited in a wider sense or it is not an officially recognized currency in the country of Zimbabwe, that is to say it is not a legal tender for transaction of business. Reports state that Mataruka hinted at research being made by the central bank to help zero in on the risks involved with dealing with cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, accentuating that “[bitcoin] will not be allowed” until they [Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe] had developed a regulatory model for bitcoin’s use and flow within the country- a subtle detail that could point to a recognition of the currency probably in the future.

Bitcoin’s Opposition

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has already cautioned people who are heavily investing in cryptocurrencies that they could irreversibly lose their funds. This comes as no surprising news as other governments’ financial institutions like the Central Bank of Namibia, and even the Russian minister for communications and mass media, Nikolai Nikiforov have strongly opposed the validity of cryptocurrencies and their usage in their respective countries. Namibia’s central bank stated that it was going to ban the use of bitcoins for payments of any kind and prohibit cryptocurrency exchanges in the country in a public statement released last month. This was what its officials had to say “In addition to the bank not recognizing virtual currencies as legal tender in Namibia, it also does not recognize it to be a foreign currency that can be exchanged for local currency”. Russia’s Nikolai Nikiforov stated that “…the Russian law will never consider bitcoin as a legal entity in the jurisdiction of the Russian Federation.”

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