The Central Bank of Zimbabwe is cracking down on the cryptocurrency industry in the country. In an announcement made today, the governor stated that local banks are not allowed to process or trade any transactions that are related to cryptocurrencies. The Zimbabwe cryptocurrency ban presumably refers to digital currencies in the broadest sense, covering a wide range of coins.
There remains a sliver of hope for cryptocurrency traders and investors in the country in spite of the ban – the Zimbabwe Central Bank has not applied the same restrictions to cryptocurrency trading exchanges.
However, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya says that “the central bank had not licensed anyone to trade in virtual currencies and that dealers and investors did not have the protection of the law”, Reuters reports.
Furthermore, he states: “The Reserve Bank has directed all banking institutions not to provide banking services to facilitate any person or entity in dealing with or settling virtual currencies. The nature of cryptocurrency transactions make them the currency of choice for money launderers and other criminals.”
Cryptocurrency investors in the Southern African country reportedly rely on Bitcoin as opposed to bank deposits as the latter goes down in value by the day. Cryptocurrency offers them better protection and return on investment. With the current ban in place, traders will still be able to trade on a peer-to-peer basis.