There was a lot of positive buzz about Zimbabwe in April when one of the leading trading platforms Golix introduced a local ATM. The ATM, located in Harare CBD allowed customers to deposit and withdraw (real)USD in exchange for Bitcoin. Needless to say it was the only ATM in town allowing people to withdraw real USD without a hassle.
The move appears to have gotten the attention of the Zimbabwe’s monetary authorities who appear to have been rather displeased instead of flattered that Zimbabwe was at least getting some positive attention for once. In the spirit of our paternalistic overseers they have decided to ban all cryptocurrency trading. They don’t understand cryptocurrencies so they might be evil.
How they are implementing the ban
In a lengthy order to banks and financial institutions published by our friends at TechZim they are ordering all banks and financial institutions from facilitating cryptocurrency trading. Given how 96% of Zimbabwe’s transactions involve a bank or financial institution this will effectively kill cryptocurrency trading here in Zimbabwe.
What reasons are being given for the ban
The authorities want to protect our financial systems blah blah blah. This is information being given by the same people who have overseen our ruin for the past 37 years so you can take it with the contempt it deserves. The simple truth is no one of the old people who work at RBZ understand the cryptocurrency market works so a ban is what they issue.
Cryptocurrencies are not perfect but they offer Africa an opportunity to remove the shackles imposed by Western systems of banking and trade. The RBZ is missing the trick here and we sincerely hope they reconsider the ban in favour of regulation.