Central African Republic Embraces Bitcoin As An Official Currency

Central African Republic Embraces Bitcoin As An Official Currency

Bitcoin currency

Image: Nubai/Moguldom

Central African Republic (CAR) has become the second country in the world after El Salvador to recognize Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as official currency.

The CAR parliament voted unanimously to pass a bill legalizing Bitcoin and other currencies alongside the regional Central African CFA franc, according to a statement posted on the country’s presidential Facebook page.

The decision makes the country the first to legalize crypto use in Africa as an official currency. Four African countries have banned all forms of crypto trading while seven have instituted some form of prohibition on dealing in the digital assets, according to Tech Cabal.

“This move places the Central African Republic on the map of the world’s boldest and most visionary countries,” said Obed Namsio, chief of staff for President Faustin-Archange Touadéra.

The country’s opposition leader, however, said the move was aimed at undermining the use of the CFA franc. Civil society groups also protested the law, saying it risks national sovereignty.

“By imposing cryptocurrencies as national currency, the power of Bangui has just sold off the little that still remained of the authority of the State and its power to control its economy, and therefore its development,” rights group Citizens Standing in Solidarity with Central African Republic said in a statement.

CAR has rich reserves of gold and diamonds but is one of the least developed nations in the world. A near-decade-long civil conflict has hurt its economy, which largely depends on mineral extraction, most of it, informal and riddled with corruption.

“The president supports this bill because it will improve the conditions of Central African citizens,” Namsio told Reuters without elaborating.

Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 74: Jamarlin Martin Jamarlin returns for a new season of the GHOGH podcast to discuss Bitcoin, bubbles, and Biden. He talks about the risk factors for Bitcoin as an investment asset including origin risk, speculative market structure, regulatory, and environment. Are broader financial markets in a massive speculative bubble?

In 2020, a coalition of rebels advanced on the capital Bangui, threatening to oust Touadéra as new elections loomed. Russia sent paramilitaries to help repel the threat and then recover much of the rebel-held territory.

Reaction to the news that CAR had adopted Bitcoin as legal tender was mixed among Twitter users across Africa.

Some viewed it with skepticism due to the low internet penetration in CAR and the potential of hackers to access people’s wealth. Others were excited that the move could help bring down corruption.