Namibia has become the latest African country to attempt to create a supportive environment for cryptocurrency and other virtual assets. According to local reports, the Namibian National Assembly has approved a regulatory bill for its virtual assets sphere. Reports disclosed that the bill is aimed at regulating digital assets, cryptocurrency, and virtual asset service providers.
More so, with the bill, the Namibian government will inaugurate a body that’ll oversee the activities of virtual asset service providers (VASPs) in the country. It is worth mentioning that the bill focuses on protecting consumers, militating against fraudulent projects, money laundering, and financing terrorism. Meanwhile, the bill designed a fine against defaults of its regulatory provision. As revealed, any VASP(s) that fails to comply will pay $671,572 as a fine.
Additionally, the Namibian government through the legislation aims to create a supportive atmosphere that’ll attract foreign investment in its crypto landscape. Recall that the Namibia lower house of Parliament approved the bill on June 22. Thereafter, the lower house of Parliament submitted it to the National Assembly for more scrutiny. The bill surfaced after the country’s Minister of Finance and Public Enterprises, Iipumbu Shiimi highlighted the need for a crypto-regulatory body in Namibia. Now, per emerging reports, the bill will await official publication before becoming law.
Opposition of the Bank of Namibia against cryptocurrency
Before the introduction of the bill, the Namibian Central Bank maintained an opposing stance against cryptocurrency in the country. According to the apex financial institution, cryptocurrency is not a legal tender in Namibia. Further, reports revealed how the Bank of Namibia’s director of strategic communications and international relations, Kazembire Zemburuka emphasized the position of the institution regarding cryptocurrency.
According to Zemburuka, the apex body will only change its position on crypto if risks relating to the innovation are well addressed. However, the opposition of the Bank of Namibia against crypto can be traced back to 2017. Then, the apex financial institution revealed its opposition to the usage of cryptocurrency as a means of exchange. Justifying its position, the Bank of Namibia said that there are no provisions for cryptocurrency exchanges in its regulatory provision.
Nevertheless, the position might change following the implementation of the new bill. With that, the Southwest African country will join the league of other nations across the globe that have introduced various crypto regulatory mechanisms.