Tanzania central bank has stated that it is working on President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s direction to prepare for cryptocurrency, implying that a ban imposed in 2019 may be lifted.
The new president, who took office after her predecessor died in March, stated earlier this month that the arrival of digital currencies in the East African country was unavoidable.
“We have seen the growth of blockchain technology or cryptocurrency in the financial industry,” Hassan remarked during the opening of a new central bank branch in the northern town of Mwanza earlier this month.
“Many countries around the world have refused to accept or use these currencies. However, I would advise the central bank to begin addressing such concerns, Hassan stated.
Her remarks, delivered just after El Salvador became the world’s first country to use bitcoin as legal cash, sparked a new round of debate about the role of cryptocurrencies in economies and remittance payments.
Tanzania central bank banned cryptocurrencies in November 2019, claiming they were illegal under Tanzanian law, but it now says it is reacting in light of the president’s remarks.
A Bank of Tanzania spokesperson said, “The bank is working on the instructions given.”
Hassan’s push was applauded by Tanzania Bankers’ Association chairman Abdulmajid Nsekela, who noted that the $63 billion economy still relies significantly on cash transactions.
“The most difficult aspect for regulators is being taken off guard by developments,” he remarked. Gradual preparations would allow the central bank to analyze risks and devise strategies to mitigate them ahead of time, Nsekela added.