Central African banking regulator reminds states of crypto ban

N’DJAMENA, May 13 (Reuters) – Central Africa’s regional banking regulator sent a reminder on Friday about its ban on cryptocurrencies, weeks after the Central African Republic, a member state, made bitcoin legal tender.

The Central African Banking Commission (COBAC), which regulates banking in the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC), said the ban was aimed at ensuring financial stability.

The announcement came as cryptocurrencies suffered significant losses on Friday after the collapse of TerraUSD, a so-called stablecoin, rippled through markets. Read more

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The presidency of the Central African Republic announced on April 27 that bitcoin had become legal tender, making it the second country to do so after El Salvador. Read more

At the time, analysts and crypto experts said they were intrigued by the move to one of the world’s poorest countries where internet usage is low, conflict is widespread and electricity is not available. not trustworthy.

The government has provided few details about its reasoning and questions remain about its implementation.

Reached by phone on Friday, government spokesman Serge Ghislain Djorie told Reuters that the Central African Republic had not received any official notification from COBAC about a crypto ban, although he had seen the news in the press and on social networks.

“We are waiting for the document to be officially transmitted before we can respond. You have to understand that each state has sovereignty,” Djorie said.

The banking commission held a special meeting on May 6 to consider the impact of cryptocurrencies in the zone, it said in the statement on Friday.

“In order to guarantee financial stability and preserve customer deposits, COBAC has recalled certain prohibitions related to the use of crypto-assets in the CEMAC”, she specifies.

These include holding cryptocurrencies of any kind, exchanging, converting or settling transactions relating to cryptocurrencies and prohibiting their use as a means of valuing assets or liabilities, a- he declared.

“COBAC has decided to take a number of measures aimed at setting up a system for identifying and reporting transactions related to cryptocurrencies,” he added.

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Reporting by Mahamat Ramadane; Additional reporting by Judicael Yongo in Bangui; Writing by Nellie Peyton Editing by Bate Felix, Andrew Heavens and Richard Chang

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