Crypto regulation bill passes

Namibia has embraced cryptocurrencies and digital assets by approving the relevant bill in the National Assembly and by doing so, joined several other African nations.

The bill, which passed Namibia’s lower house of parliament aims to regulate digital assets, cryptocurrencies and virtual asset service providers (VASPs).

The legislation aims to establish a framework for licensing and regulating VASPs. It also seeks to appoint a regulatory authority responsible for supervising these providers and their activities.

The main objectives of the bill are to ensure consumer protection, prevent market abuse, and mitigate the risks of money laundering, the financing of terrorism and proliferation activities associated with digital asset markets.

The new law also covers incidental matters related to these objectives.

The bill is now awaiting official publication in the Government Gazette before coming into effect.

The Minister of Finance and Public Enterprises, Iipumbu Shiimi, confirmed the establishment of a regulatory body to supervise and grant licenses to VASPs in the country. The Bank of Namibia, however, maintained its position that cryptocurrencies do not hold legal tender status in the country.

Kazembire Zemburuka, the BON’s Director of Strategic Communications and International Relations, made it clear that the bank’s position, indicating that once the associated risks of innovations like virtual assets are better managed, the bank will assess and make a decision regarding the acceptance of cryptocurrencies within Namibia’s financial system.

In 2017, the bank announced that it was strongly against the use of cryptocurrencies as a method of payment for goods and services. It stated that virtual currency exchanges have no place in Namibia

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