Zimbabwe Puts a Thou-Shalt-Not Order on All Cryptocurrency Activities

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe bans all cryptocurrency trading

Zimbabwe is not the only government to stop financial institutions from serving the crypto market, in the last fortnight India also banned banks in the country from servicing cryptocurrency traders.

With Zimbabwe now seemingly on the against side of the cryptocurrency argument, we could expect some backlash to occur within the cryptocurrency community, perhaps on a similar scale to what we have seen in India, with the launch of a petition and appeals to the high court of Delhi. The central bank has restricted all financial institutions in the country to keep away from processing cryptocurrency transactions.

The RBZ's Director and Registrar of Banking Institutions, Norman Mataruka, issued a directive to all Zimbabwean financial institutions to cease dealing with crypto-related exchanges holding the accounts of people dealing with crypto assets within the next 60 days to shut down all the active crypto-related accounts.

Virtual currency exchanges in Zimbabwe stand to suffer great losses as a result of the recent directive.

Many Zimbabweans are trading in cryptocurrencies which have given them quick yields, but RBZ also warned that anonymity surrounding deals made it hard for law enforcement agencies to trace transactions. Many people do consider this sort of restriction to be censorship, something the industry does not take very kindly too.

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Talking about the major cryptocurrency exchanges in the country, the notice points out that Bitfinance (Private) Limited (Golix) and Styx24 are the major cryptocurrency exchanges in the country where the latter one has also set up an ATM machine to facilitate the crypto transactions.

The governor John Mangudya said in a statement: "The Reserve Bank has directed all banking institutions not to provide banking services to facilitate any person or entity dealing with or settling virtual currencies".

The ban includes "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".

A local company recently introduced an ATM in Harare which it said would be loaded with USA dollars and would be used to transact Bitcoins.

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