Zimbabwe Minister debunks Bitcoin adoption rumours, clarifies CBDC interest

Zimbabwe Minister debunks Bitcoin adoption rumours, clarifies CBDC interest 


Zimbabwe’s Minister of Information has publicly dismissed the ongoing rumours about the country discussing the adoption of cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin. Rather, Monica Mutsvangwa, another Minister, has clarified that the Zimbabwean authorities are considering experimenting with a central banking digital currency (CBDC).



Initially, the fast-spreading rumour about Zimbabwe’s crypto adoption was gaining rounds due to a number of reports that quoted Charles Wekwete, Permanent Secretary of the President’s Office, wherein he was recorded saying that the government was in conversation with private sector businesses for assistance in introducing cryptocurrency in the country.



Just one day after the reports quoted Wekwete, Minister Mutsvangwa organized a cabinet briefing dismissing the ongoing crypto adoption claims, stating that the government has sought to assure the nation that it is currently not considering introducing another currency in the economy, as seen in reports published by certain sections of the media. Mutsvangwa reiterated that “our local currency is the Zimbabwe dollar (ZW$) and not cryptocurrency.”



Moreover, the Minister also took this opportunity to clarify that the government of Zimbabwe was following the footsteps of several other countries by studying “CBDC as opposed to cryptocurrencies, bitcoins or any form of derivatives.” 



Since CBDCs are digital tokens originally issued by a government’s central bank, if it is launched in Zimbabwe, then the digital tokens would most likely be pegged with the Zimbabwe dollar, having the monetary value of the local currency in real-time.



Governments across the globe are reported to be experimenting with retail and wholesale CBDCs for finding cheaper cross-border payment alternatives while simultaneously increasing their ability to track transactions so that they can deter money laundering, terrorism financing, and other fraudulent activities.



Most African governments are looking towards CBDCs as a tool for speeding up their financial inclusiveness in the larger global economy. Very recently, Ghana has joined the growing list of African countries that are reportedly experimenting with CBDC use cases.



The CBDC presently developed by the Bank of Ghana, the e-cedi, as of now would support offline transactions. As per the bank’s Head of Fintech and Innovation, Kwame Oppong, the e-cedi “would be capable of being used in an offline environment” with the help of some smart cards.



This particular offline transaction feature of Ghana’s CBDC is aimed at catalyzing the technology’s adoption in regions that generally lack reliable access to electricity and digital connectivity.


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