Zimbabwean Parliament should regulate instead of banning cryptocurrencies
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The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe recently attempted to ban cryptocurrencies and the ban was only reversed by the High Court of Zimbabwe. A reversal of the ban by a court is not a permanent solution as the Zimbabwean Parliament can simply make a new law which can result in a lawful ban.
If virtual currencies are completely banned this will stifle the development of blockchain technology and digital assets in the country. Currently the digital assets sector has a market cap of over $300bn, making it an industry in its own right. All progressive jurisdictions are already working on regulations. There is strong evidence of cryptocurrencies going mainstream in 2018, with major organisations such as Facebook announcing plans to launch cryptocurrencies for use on their platforms. In Canada, a project called Stack launched a payment system backed by Mastercard which will enable consumers to pay using cryptocurrencies on point of sale. Nasdaq and New York Stock Exchange which are some of the biggest stock exchanges in the world are planning to trade cryptocurrencies. Banning cryptocurencies altogether will mean that all Zimbabweans will miss out on the opportunity to take part in this revolutionising phenomenon which is being held on par with the discovery of the internet decades ago.
Having regulations will achieve the same objectives which a ban is intended to achieve-which is the protection of consumers/investors and the disruption of criminal activities within the sector. Zimbabwe can still embrace the benefits of this innovative technology and allow investment and the development of local talent in this space.
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