The Bank of Namibia (BON) has announced that it will not accept any crypto-related complaints from its customers. Furthermore, the bank clarified that it doesn’t have the “legal power” to follow up on such complaints.
Cryptocurrency may be one of the finest investments available right now. However, it does come with its own set of concerns. One of the most serious issues is that it is rife with fraud because of its unregulated nature.
Many new consumers in the market are being duped due to this. Namibia is seeing increased reports of crypto investors losing money to scammers.
According to one investigation, fraudsters promise huge profits and training opportunities to entice their victims. Bank Windhoek also revealed a few weeks ago that some of its clients had lost money owing to bitcoin fraudsters. This is why BON is warning about the danger of cryptocurrencies.
Kazembire Zemburuka, the central bank’s spokesperson, asserts that as Namibia’s sole issuer of legal tender, the BON “does not recognize, support and recommend the possession, utilization, and trading of cryptocurrencies by members of the public.”
Even though Namibia, like many other African countries, has taken a stance against cryptocurrencies, its residents are still interested in investing in them. As a result of this interest, the BON has issued a danger warning to crypto-traders operating under its authority.
The Namibia dollar is the legal tender in Namibia, however, the BON Act further recognizes the South African rand as the only additional legal tender in Namibia.
The BON also indicated that it does not recognize cryptocurrencies as a commodity or facilitate trading cryptocurrencies on any financial market or currency exchange (local or foreign). This is because Namibia’s Currency and Exchanges Act of 1933 prohibits the establishment of cryptocurrency exchanges or bureaus.
Furthermore, Zemburuka explained that the central bank’s position on cryptocurrencies as communicated in 2018 has not changed. Which states that,
In order to provide clarity on banks position, the bank wishes to reiterate that it does not recognize cryptocurrencies as legal tender in Namibia. As such, cryptocurrencies are therefore not considered as an authorized foreign currency, and thus the Namibia dollar is not exchangeable for it.
Financial Intelligence Act
The Financial Intelligence Act (FIA), which came into force in 2012, intends to safeguard the Namibian economy against financial crime, such as money laundering and terrorist funding.
Failure to comply with the terms of the FIA is a criminal crime punishable by a fine not exceeding N$100 million or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 30 years.
Even though BON has been explicit about its lack of capacity to fight against cryptocurrency fraud, the bank is conducting due diligence and research on cryptocurrencies. And they will continue to revise their viewpoint based on what they discover.
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