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Bitcoin is now legal tender in Central African Republic

The Central African Republic (CAR) became the first subregion and the second place in the African continent to approve Bitcoin as legal tender, following in the footsteps of El Salvador. This cryptocurrency news came in after the announcement of the President on Wednesday, April 2, 2022. 

Moreover, a bill governing the use of cryptocurrency for daily transactions was voted  unanimously by the parliament a week before the announcement. This was confirmed by a signed statement from Obed Namsio, the chief of staff of the CAR President Faustin-Archange Touadera. 

‘The president supports this bill because it will improve the conditions of Central African citizens,’ Namsio told Reuters. 

‘[This is] a decisive step toward opening up new opportunities for our country,’ he added. 

This movement was introduced by Justin Gourna Zacko, the minister of Digital Economy, Post and Telecommunications citing that there are growing difficulties in sending money to and from the African nation. 

The bill aims to establish a favourable environment for the growth of the crypto sector in the country and to address the issues regarding cross-border transactions. 

Additionally, this will allow traders, businesses and users to make digital asset payments as well as pay taxes in digital currencies through authorised entities. 

However, two prime ministers have voiced concern about the adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender without the guidance from the Bank of Central African States (BEAC) which governs the circulation of fiat money.  

The two ministers have called it a serious offence citing that BEAC only knew of the adoption of the cryptocurrency as legal tender at the same time as the rest of the public. 

The CAR is one of the poorest countries in Africa despite its rich reserves of gold and diamonds. According to United Nations reports, the nation has and is continuously facing political and economic unrest. 

According to a report by BBC, many people have raised fears that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin would make it easier for criminals to launder money and do illegal activities. Environmental damages of crypto mining, especially in the case of Bitcoin, that may happen in the future is also a concern by many.

However, there are provisions under the crypto law that would address offenders that will break the law. According to a report by Cointelegraph, offenders will be jailed for up to 20 years and can face a fine between 100 million to 1 billion CFA francs. 

Get to know more cryptocurrency news about the situation of Bitcoin adoption in the Central African Republic as you browse through Cryptoshimbun!

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