Despite the fact that cryptocurrencies are not recognised as legal tender in Namibia, the Bank of Namibia (BON) has announced that through its innovation hub, it has now gradually included virtual assets and virtual assets service providers (VASP) under its Fintech Innovations Regulatory Framework. The central bank noted that, after carefully consulting with other relevant authorities, it is also considering revising appropriate laws and regulations.
The BON recently asserted that although privately produced digital currencies are still not legally recognised, retailers and traders can accept money in this form if they are ready to engage in such an exchange or trade.
A change in the bank’s stance on virtual currencies seems to indicate that the BON is becoming more accepting of them. The central bank has previously stated that it does not recognise, support, or advise the public’s ownership, use, or trading of cryptocurrencies.
The bank also informed Namibians that they would have no legal options if they suffered financial losses.
The BON governor and former sceptic of cryptocurrencies, Johannes Gawaxab, is mentioned in the statement conceding that the future of money is now at a crucial juncture. He explained that the direction of money is changing. According to him, there is a conflict between sovereign and non-sovereign money as well as controlled and unregulated money.
Nevertheless, Gawaxab stated that in his opinion, central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) provide something that digital currencies that are privately issued or developed do not. The BON governor issued a warning, however, noting that his agency will not be hurried into implementing a CBDC despite evaluating and researching its viability.
In October, the BON claimed that it will release a consultation paper in October.