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Zambia’s Crypto Regulation Tests to be Wrapped by June: Report

Cryptocurrency regulatory tests aimed at helping develop crypto legislation in Zambia by simulating real-world use of crypto are expected to be completed by June.

Zambia’s innovation, science, and technology minister, Felix Mutati, told Reuters on April 12 that the objective of the tests was to allow the government “see what would happen in the real world,” which would aid in the formation of crypto legislation.

Zambia’s central bank and securities regulator began the tests on February 19, with the goal of balancing safety and innovation, according to Mutati: “Our main goal in the cryptocurrency space is to strike a balance between digital payment innovation […] and citizen safety, especially given the volatility of cryptocurrency.” Furthermore, Mutati noted that digital IDs and other digital infrastructures must be built before cryptocurrencies can be introduced.

Although Zambia’s debt restructuring process has been “long delayed,” with the majority of its debt owed to Chinese creditors, Mutati believes it has not prevented investment in the country. “What we are seeing is an increased appetite to invest in Zambia.”

Zambia was the first African country to default when the COVID-19 epidemic began in 2020. In a separate April 12 Reuters story, the country’s treasury secretary, Felix Nkulukusa, stated that if the debt restructuring is delayed further, the country may lose the benefits of its macroeconomic reforms.

On February 19, Mutati declared that the country would be exploring technologies for cryptocurrency regulation, stating that “through digital payment platforms, people will become much more included in digital financial services.” He went on to say that “cryptocurrency will be a driver for financial inclusion and a change maker for Zambia’s economy.”

Many African countries have recently taken steps toward cryptocurrency adoption. In April 2022, the Central African Republic made Bitcoin legal tender, coupled with a regulatory framework for cryptocurrency use in the country. On December 18, it was reported that the Nigerian government wants to pass a new law soon that will recognize “cryptocurrency and other digital funds as capital for investment,” despite a prohibition on crypto activities in 2021.


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