Zimbabwe denies reports of adopting cryptocurrency as legal tender
FILE PHOTO: A picture showing Gold Bitcoins. /Getty Images

FILE PHOTO: A picture showing Gold Bitcoins. /Getty Images

Zimbabwe has no plans of adopting cryptocurrency as a legal tender, according to Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa.

Mutsvangwa, who spoke following a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, was reacting to reports in a section of the local media that Zimbabwe was planning to introduce another currency.

"Our local currency is the Zimbabwe dollar, and not cryptocurrency. Like most countries in the world, the Government of Zimbabwe, through its Financial Technology Group, is studying Central Banking Digital Currency as opposed to cryptocurrencies, bitcoins or any form of derivatives," Mutsvangwa said.

Zimbabwe's Finance minister Mthuli Ncube in September already ruled out any possible use of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and ether, as legal tender due to their volatility.

Ncube, however, said the government was exploring how cryptocurrencies and digital assets could be ranked as another asset class.

Countries all over the world, including those in Africa, are struggling with how to regulate cryptocurrencies which have grown in popularity.

However, a number of emerging markets have banked on digital money to reduce transaction costs and improve participation in the formal financial system.

Some African nations such as Ghana and South Africa are testing digital forms of their legal tender to enable quicker and affordable money transactions without losing control over their monetary systems.

Nigeria's central bank, on the other hand, rolled out its national digital currency, the eNaira, in October. The eNaira will have the same value as the physical Naira and always exchange at one naira to one eNaira, according to the central bank.

In June, Central American nation El Salvador became the first country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender with lawmakers voting by a "supermajority" in favor of the Bitcoin Law.

(With input from agencies)

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