While cryptocurrencies do not have the status of legal tender in the African country, the Bank of Namibia (BON), the country’s central bank, announced that its main innovation now includes “Virtual Assets (VA) and Accounting Service Providers”. virtual assets (VASP) under its Regulatory Framework for Innovations and Fintech, in a staged approach”.
BON also stood out in a release in late September that while digital currencies like Bitcoin (BTC) Not yet legally recognized, retailers can accept cryptocurrency payments if they are “willing to participate in this market.”
The central bank also said it is contemplating making changes to “applicable laws and regulations, carefully and in consultation with other relevant authorities.”
The bank’s new stance towards digital currencies seems to indicate that BON is starting to accept cryptocurrencies. In contrast, the central bank had previously said that it does not recognize, support or recommend “the possession, use and trading of cryptocurrencies by the public”.
The bank also warned Namibians that there would be no legal recourse in case of loss of money.
The future of money and a “tipping point”
In the announcement, BON Governor Johannes Gawaxab, who has been known to be skeptical of cryptocurrencies in the past, admitted that the future of money has reached a turning point. He went on to explain:
“The future of money is at a turning point. The battle between regulated and unregulated money, on the one hand, and sovereign versus non-sovereign money, on the other.”
However, Gawaxab argues that digital currencies issued by the central bank (CBDC) provide something that digital currencies issued or developed by the private sector cannot. He stressed that his institution, which is also examining and analyzing the feasibility of launching a CBDC, would not rush to do so.
“If CBDCs are explored and implemented with due care, they could have immense potential benefit for a more stable, more secure, more widely available and less expensive means of payment than private forms of digital money,” Gawaxab said.
BON also shared that it will publish a CBDC consultation document in the month of October.
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