“Existing Laws Do Not Provide For Crypto Usage” Says Governor of Namibia Bank

According to the Governor of the Bank of Namibia (BON), Johannes Gawaxab, the bank is midway through completing its examination of virtual currencies which it estimates to be completed by April 2022. He further suggests that the existing laws of the country do not provide for the usage of virtual currencies and/or assets by Namibians because of the lack of any legal tender.

A video message has been issued by Johannes Gawaxab, who is the current Governor of the Bank of Namibia (BON). In this video message, BON’s Governor could be seen discussing the virtual assets/currencies and their potential within Namibia. The video message of the Governor was broadcasted on a local TV station owned by the state.

In the message, Gawaxab said on behalf of BON that virtual assets aren’t a bad thing. However, he stated that for the time being, there is no approval in the country for allowing anyone to use virtual assets. He further suggested that even if BON would want to approve the usage of digital assets, it won’t be easy to come by. He then went on to explain how virtual assets cannot be integrated within Namibia’s financial system for the time being.

Gawaxab was of the view that Namibia is part of a monetary system wherein South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland too are the members. He described the system as Common Monetary Area, a system which is widely known as “CMA”. He explained that if Namibia were to consider the usage of digital currencies, then the decision does not rely on BON alone. In fact, the decision has to be taken collectively by the members of CMA. He explained further that Namibia’s integration of crypto would inevitably affect the four currencies within the CMA.

He impliedly also explained that the policies and guidelines of CMA are greatly influenced by South Africa.

As per Gawaxab, there is a lack of legal structure with regard to crypto in the country. He said that there is no such legal tender approved for any virtual currencies. However, he noticed that a very small portion of Namibians is involved in crypto trading. He then warned Namibians involved in crypto trading by advising that there is no legal recourse available to them against crypto disputes. Because of this, they could be exposed to great risks and the burden will have to be borne by them alone.

In this very context, in the month of June this year, a warning was also issued by BON. In this warning, the bank warned Namibians to keep a distance from crypto because there is no legal tender approved for any digital currency. The bank also told that in case of any crypto fraud, BON wouldn’t be able to compensate victims of crypto fraud.

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