The Central Bank of Namibia allows cryptocurrencies as a means of payment

A step towards the adoption of Bitcoin (BTC)? The Central Bank of Namibia recently clarified its positioning on cryptocurrencies. If these do not yet have the status of currencies, they are however considered as means of payment with merchants.

Namibia takes a step towards cryptocurrencies

At the end of September, the Central Bank of Namibia held an event dedicated to central bank digital currencies and cryptocurrencies. The discussions made it possible to determine several positions. The Bank of Namibia reminds that digital assets are not officially recognized as currencies, but it is possible for merchants to accept them :

The acceptance of virtual assets for payment of goods and services remains at the discretion of each merchant or buyer. 

The Central Bank therefore considers cryptocurrencies as a legitimate means of exchange… But reiterates a warning on ICOs:

Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) present great risks and opportunities for fraud and manipulation. 

In addition, cryptocurrencies are now part of its regulatory framework for FinTech innovations. This means that cryptocurrencies are joining a sandbox to determine whether to change the laws and regulations surrounding them .

Johannes Gawaxab, the Governor of the Central Bank, underlined the crucial nature of the times:

The future of money is at an inflection point. On the one hand there is a battle between regulated and unregulated money, and on the other between sovereign and non-sovereign money. 

An MNBC in the line of sight

The Central Bank of Namibia is however on the side of “regulated” money, which it wishes to defend while supervising unregulated finance. According to her, this will potentially go through a central bank digital currency (MNBC) , but only if the conditions are right:

Successful implementation of MNBC depends on effective scanning of the environment to ensure the development of a suitable solution that supports public policy objectives. 

The central bank is planning structural and legal changes to move into this new era. A document will also be published by the Bank of Namibia in the next two weeks to clarify its thinking on this subject.


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