Bitcoin Is Now an Official Currency in the African Republic

Bitcoin Is Now an Official Currency in the African Republic

El Salvador became the first country to accept Bitcoin as legal cash last year. Now the Central African Republic is following suit. On Wednesday, the Central African Republic’s presidency announced that Bitcoin became an official currency; making it the first in Africa and just the second in the world to do so.

Despite its wealth in gold and diamonds, the Central African Republic is one of the world’s poorest and least-developed countries; plagued for years by guerrilla strife. According to a statement signed by Obed Namsio, President Faustin-Archange Touadera’s chief of staff, parliament passed a measure restricting the use of cryptocurrency last week.

New Era for Citizens

“The president supports this measure because it would help Central African citizens,” Namsio explained. In a statement, he called it “a critical step in opening up new opportunities for our country.”

The CFA franc, a regional currency controlled by the Bank of Central African States, is used by the Central African Republic and six other nations (BEAC).

Two of the country’s past prime ministers signed a letter last week; they expressed alarm over Bitcoin adoption without BEAC direction, calling it a “major infraction.”

“The BEAC learned at the same time as the public of the enactment of a new cryptocurrency law in the Central African Republic,” a BEAC spokeswoman said; they added that the bank had yet to receive an official reaction.

The regulation of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology in Africa has taken various forms. Last year, before creating its digital currency, the eNaira, Nigeria’s central bank, prohibited domestic institutions from dealing with cryptocurrencies. South African regulators are looking into how they may regulate cryptocurrencies and other blockchain technologies. At the same time, Tanzania’s central bank said last year that it was working on a presidential decree to prepare for cryptocurrencies.