Outrage Over RBZ’s Cryptocurrency Ban

The Zimbabwe Information Communication Technologies has blasted the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe for banning cryptocurrencies trading in the country.

RBZ has been taking a lackadaisical approach in dealing with cryptocurrencies with their wait and see approach. They were unsure whether to regulate it or not. But last week, the apex bank called to order those trading in these virtual currencies. In an email sent to TechnoMag, ZICT Chairman Engineer Jacob Mutisi said it was a wrong move to ban cryptocurrency transactions.

“Only a few days ago the Minister of Finance Hon Patrick Chinamasa announced Zimbabwe’s economy is now 96% Cashless and a few days later the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe announces that they are banning cryptocurrency without specifying the reason. This comes across as misdirected enthusiasm considering that Facebook has introduced its own cryptocurrency.

“RBZ we should be in the forefront of these new technology currencies, as ICT professionals we would like to remind RBZ that cryptocurrency is here to stay the best we can do is to introduce our own Zimbabwe cryptocurrency,” said Mutisi.

Eng Mutisi said RBZ rushed into making this decision without consulting involved stakeholders.

“Please can RBZ advise us who they consulted considering that none of our Zimbabwe Institution of Engineers or the ICT division was consulted to provide any feedback on these modern technology developments that are taking place around the world? In Zimbabwe we have the best brains when it comes to Block Chain Technology (block chain technology is used to develop cryptocurrency) with Harare Institute of Technology leading the way. You don’t need to look no further,” the ZICT chair said.

Mutisi added, “As Monetary Authorities, the Reserve Bank is the custodian of public trust and has an obligation to safeguard the integrity of payment systems. Cryptocurrencies have strong linkages and interconnectedness with standard means of payments and trading applications and rely on much of the same institutional infrastructure that serves the overall financial system. Surely can we remind RBZ that they do not print any money furthermore the future is here 96% of our transactions we are using virtual currency which you may think you control.”

Mutisi said it was not too late for RBZ to convene a stakeholders’ meeting on the issue.

“Our suggestion is for the RBZ to call for a stakeholders meeting that should include ICT professional who can clearly explain the benefits of cryptocurrency especially in our cashless Zimbabwe. RBZ there no going back on this block chain advancement we are procrastinating on something we should embrace and implement. Last but not least cryptocurrency is here to stay,” he said.

He also said while cryptocurrencies are believed to have some loopholes, they have identified them as ZICT.

“Further, cryptocurrencies can be used to facilitate tax evasion as well as externalization of funds in violation of a country’s laws. Nothing is completely secure. I would want to remind RBZ that the environment we are as Zimbabwe Information and Communication Technologies a division of Zimbabwe Institution of Engineers has identified loopholes and vulnerabilities that can completely derail Zimbabwe’s cashless trajectory which we can demonstrate on your request,” he said.

 

A lot of Zimbabweans have been trading using cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. Many organisations such as Golix, and Bitmari have been created to facilitate cryptocurrency trading.

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