This African Country Changes Its Stance Against Bitcoin with Its Latest Move

  • The Government Gazette was signed by President Hage Geingob on July 14th and published on July 21st, after the law was approved by the National Assembly on July 6th.
  • The law aims primarily to protect consumers, prevent market abuse, and reduce the risks of money laundering and financing terrorism.
  • The announcement by BON stated that retailers and traders could accept money in the form of Bitcoin if they are willing to engage in transactions with cryptocurrencies and accept the risks associated with digital assets.

The African country, which previously banned cryptocurrencies, chose to regulate them with the approved law and changed its banning attitude.

Namibia Prefers Legal Regulation

namibya

Namibia officially implemented the 2023 Virtual Asset Service Providers Act last week. The Government Gazette, after the law was approved by the National Assembly on July 6th and signed by President Hage Geingob on July 14th, published it on July 21st. The law will come into effect on a date yet to be determined by the country’s Ministry of Finance.

The first law in Namibia that regulates activities related to crypto assets grants regulatory authority over cryptocurrency exchanges. The law aims primarily to protect consumers, prevent market abuse, and reduce the risks of money laundering and financing terrorism. The African country had previously imposed a ban on cryptocurrencies.

The Bank of Namibia (BON), which is the Central Bank of Namibia, maintains its stance that cryptocurrencies will not be legal tender. Crypto exchanges and providers that do not comply with the regulations specified in the law can be penalized with fines of up to 10 million Namibian dollars (approximately 671,000 US dollars) and imprisonment for up to 10 years.

Namibia Eases Its Stance on Bitcoin

The country announced in October 2022 that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies were not accepted as legal tender, but the central bank included “virtual assets (VA) and virtual asset service providers (VASP)” within the scope of the financial technology regulatory framework through the innovation center.

The announcement by BON stated that retailers and traders could accept money in the form of Bitcoin if they are willing to engage in transactions with cryptocurrencies and accept the risks associated with digital assets. In the announcement, BON mentioned that it is considering reviewing appropriate laws and regulations related to the industry.

Johannes Gawaxab, the Governor of BON, stated that the bank is exploring the possibility of issuing a central bank digital currency (CBDC). Gawaxab, who previously opposed cryptocurrencies, argued that CBDCs offer something that privately issued digital currencies do not.

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