Tanzania’s Central Bank Working on Reversing Crypto Ban, Following President’s Directive

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The Bank of Tanzania said that it is planning on reversing its previous ban placed on cryptocurrency after the Tanzanian President asked the country to prepare for the adoption of crypto. 

Bank of Tanzania Looks to Lift Crypto Ban

According to Reuters on Friday (June 25, 2021), Tanzania’s central bank is working on the directive of the country’s President, Samia Suluhu Hassan, which could make the central bank make a U-turn on its crypto ban. The Bank of Tanzania prohibited the use of cryptocurrency assets in the country back in November 2019, saying that they were illegal. 

Earlier in June, Hassan asked the central bank to work towards accepting cryptocurrency. The Tanzania President also noted the growing popularity of crypto and blockchain and urged the Bank of Tanzania to be ready for such innovations. A statement from Hassan reads: 

“Many countries in the world have not accepted or started using these currencies. However, I would like to advise the central bank to start working on those issues. Just be prepared.”

While the Tanzanian central bank is making plans to implement the President’s directive, it is not known if the Bank of Tanzania would adopt bitcoin and other crypto assets, or if it would go the route of issuing a central bank digital currency (CBDC). 

Indeed, several central banks across the globe are either exploring the benefits of a CBDC or already testing their sovereign digital currencies. While China seems to have made the most progress, central banks in the African continent in countries like Nigeria, Ghana, and South Africa have also announced intentions to issue a CBDC. 

Abdulmajid Nsekela, chairman of the Tanzania Bankers Association, applauded President Hassan’s push for cryptocurrency adoption, as it could help reshape an economy still heavily reliant on cash.  According to Nsekela, it was important for the central bank to be conversant with the crypto industry, adding that “the most challenging element for regulators is to be caught by surprise by innovations.”

Meanwhile, Hassan’s comments come after El Salvador’s bitcoin adoption. The Central American country earlier in June became the first to make bitcoin a legal tender, which will be implemented in September. 

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