Zambia to finish cryptocurrency regulation tests by June, Minister says

According to the country’s Minister of Science and Technology, Zambia is planning to finish tests that simulate real-world cryptocurrency usage by the end of June.

By Staff

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Cryptocurrency regulation tests aiming to help shape crypto laws in Zambia that simulate the real-world use of crypto are on track to finish by June.

According to a Reuters interview, Zambia’s Innovation, Science, and Technology Minister, Felix Mutati, said the purpose of conducting the tests was to help the Government see what would happen in the real world, to assist in forming crypto regulations.

Zambia’s central bank and securities regulator commenced the tests in February, which Mutati stated was looking to balance safety and innovation.

“Our main goal in the area of cryptocurrency is to strike a balance between innovation in terms of digital payments against citizens’ safety, particularly given that cryptocurrency is very volatile,” the Minister noted.

Additionally, Mutati commented that before cryptocurrencies can be introduced, digital identities and other digital infrastructures need to be implemented.

Although Zambia’s debt restructuring process has been long delayed, with the largest portion of its debt owed to creditors from China, Mutati suggested it hasn’t deterred investment in Zambia.

Mutati commented on this saying, “What we are seeing is increased appetite to invest in Zambia.”

Zambia, which was the first African country to default in the COVID-19 era in 2020, could lose gains made from economic reforms if the restructuring of $18.6 billion of external debt is further delayed, the country’s Treasury secretary stated on Wednesday.

When Mutati initially announced that the country would be testing technology for crypto regulation in February, he stated that through digital payment platforms, people will become much more included in digital financial services.

He added, “Cryptocurrency will be a driver for financial inclusion and a change maker for Zambia’s economy.”

Many countries in the African region have made moves toward crypto adoption in recent times. The Central African Republic made Bitcoin legal tender in April 2022, along with a regulatory framework for the use of cryptocurrency in the country.

It was also reported last year that the Nigerian Government plans to pass a new law in the near future that will recognize cryptocurrency and other digital funds as capital for investment, despite banning crypto activity in 2021.

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