Zimbabwe’s finance minister, Mthuli Ncube, has only been in office for two weeks but he has already swung into actions that might not go down very well with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.
Ncube’s open stance on his support of cryptocurrencies and his opinion that they might be the only thing to save the country’s financial economy practically flies in the face of the country’s central bank.
The newly appointed minister has conveyed plans and methods which the country might adopt if they are to get out of the cash quagmire that the country has been for two years on now. One way to realizing this, he suggested, would be the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) creating a cryptocurrency division that would be tasked with understanding and dealing with affairs of digital assets.
According to a report by IT Web Africa, the financial minister encouraged the country to emulate the evolution and pro-stance of Switzerland towards cryptocurrencies, with Bitcoin and other digital currencies already recognized as a legal tender in the country.
“One can pay for travel using bitcoin in Switzerland. So, if these countries can see value in this and where it’s headed, we should also pay attention,” the Zimbabwean minister said. “We have innovative youngsters so the idea shouldn’t be to stop it and say don’t do this, but rather the regulators should invest in catching up with them and find ways to understand it, then you regulate it because you now understand it.”
Due to the enforced limitation to the amounts that a depositor can withdraw, cash shortage has not gotten any farther in Zimbabwe as people would rather hold on to their money than save in the bank and not be allowed to withdraw later on.
Ncube believes digital currencies can be used to facilitate tax evasion in the future, as well as the externalization of funds in violation of the country’s laws. If he succeeds in convincing the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to change their stance and embracing the virtual exchange, it would nothing short of laudable given the country’s previous harsh position, even forbidding its banks from processing any cryptocurrency transaction or deal whatsoever.
The encouraging news, however, would be the High Court reversing the ban not long after it was made.