Bitcoin Is ‘Not Actually Legal,’ Says Zimbabwe Central Bank Chief

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has warned that bitcoin is currently illegal in the country.

According to a report by local news source Chronicle today, Norman Mataruka, director and registrar of the central bank, said that “bitcoin … is not actually legal” to use within Zimbabwe.

He added:

“In Southern Africa, what we have done as regulators, we have said that we will not allow [bitcoin] in our markets.”

Mataruka continued to say that research is being undertaken to determine the risks associated with cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, stressing, “[bitcoin] will not be allowed” until the central bank comes up with a legal regulatory framework.

The statement comes as a political crisis in Zimbabwe has caused the price of bitcoin to spike to levels unseen in other nations. According to reports, one bitcoin may be worth as much as $13,000.

Going by CoinDesk’s Bitcoin Price Index, the average price across global exchanges is currently $8,187 – roughly $4,800 less.

According to Chronicle, RBZ has previously warned that people who are involved investing in cryptocurrencies could lose their funds without recourse.

Another Southern African nation, Namibia, announced last month that bitcoin purchases are illegal under its laws. Cryptocurrencies pose only a “minimal” threat to the central bank’s monetary policy role, it added.

Zimbabwe flag image via Shutterstock

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