Zimbabwe Seeks Public Comments on Crypto Regulations Amid Financial Reforms

June 12, 2024

Zimbabwe is making a significant move toward embracing the digital asset sector by calling for public comments to shape new cryptocurrency regulations. This initiative, reported by Bloomberg and corroborated by local media, marks a pivotal step in the country’s ongoing efforts to integrate innovative financial solutions into its economy.

The Zimbabwean government is reaching out to both domestic and international cryptocurrency service providers, along with the general public, to gather comprehensive insights. The focus is on developing a regulatory framework that promotes innovation while ensuring security and compliance. A committee has been established to facilitate this dialogue, with a deadline for submissions set for June 26, highlighting the urgency and importance of this endeavor.

This development comes as Zimbabwe continues to grapple with long-standing economic challenges, including hyperinflation and currency instability. Last year, the government introduced a gold-backed virtual token to mitigate financial volatility and inflation.

More recently, in April, Zimbabwe launched the ZiG (Zimbabwe Gold) currency, replacing the beleaguered Zimbabwean dollar. ZiG aims to stabilize the currency system and has already been integrated as the base for inflation calculations, resulting in a reported decrease in consumer prices.

Nick Mangwana, a prominent media personality in Zimbabwe, underscored the significance of this initiative on X. He shared a snapshot of the government’s newspaper announcement and commented, “In line with global trends and best practices, Zimbabwe is embarking on an exercise to assess and understand the cryptocurrency landscape in Zimbabwe.”

The government’s call for public input reflects a broader global trend where nations are exploring the potential benefits of digital currencies while addressing associated risks. By engaging with stakeholders and the general public, Zimbabwe aims to craft policies that are not only effective but also reflective of the needs and concerns of its citizens and market participants.

Zimbabwe’s engagement with the cryptocurrency sector is also seen as a strategic move to re-enter the global financial markets. Since defaulting on its debts in 1999, the country has been largely excluded from international capital markets and is currently working to reorganize its $19.2 billion debt, including $13 billion owed to international creditors.

As part of this regulatory assessment, Zimbabwe is particularly focused on understanding the extent and nature of its cryptocurrency ecosystem. The government is keen to identify and mitigate risks such as money laundering, terrorism financing, and other illicit activities that could be associated with cryptocurrencies. This comprehensive approach aims to foster a secure and robust regulatory environment for digital assets in the country.

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