The Namibian Central Bank has ruled that Bitcoin shall be ruled that Bitcoin may not be used as payment for goods and services.
Namibia has cemented itself as one of the first southern African countries to rule on Bitcoin, as its Central Bank has now dictated that the cryptocurrency should not be accepted as payments for neither goods nor services.
Through the publication of a position paper, the Bank of Namibia has clarified that it sees Bitcoin – and, by extension, other cryptocurrencies – as a ‘minimal’ threat to the central bank’s monetary policymaking role.
The paper draws on previous research from the International Monetary Fund and the Financial Action Task Force, and offers policy directives interpreted from the Namibian Exchange Control Act of 1966.
The Act, unsurprisingly, does not make provision for the establishment of virtual currency exchanges within the country.
The paper reads:
“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. This is because virtual currencies are neither issued nor guaranteed by a central bank nor backed by any commodity.”
The report acknowledges that cryptocurrencies could be used to facilitate remittances and other payments, but offers that:
“Virtual currencies cannot be used to pay for goods and services in Namibia… For example, a local shop is not allowed to price or accept virtual currencies in exchange for goods and services. Users of virtual currencies should therefore exercise caution when dealing in this type of currencies or when comparing it to e-money.”
South Africa has yet to rule on Bitcoin or propose any new pieces of legislation or regulation – though it recently emerged that the South African government has been trialing cryptocurrency regulation in a sandbox setting.
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