Zimbabwe Must Invest In Cryptocurrencies – Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube

News | September 17, 2018 By:

Mthuli Ncube, Zimbabwe’s newly appointed Finance Minister, said that cryptocurrencies could assist in mitigating the country’s ongoing cash shortage.

In a statement, Ncube said he would call on the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) to establish a crypto unit to better position the country to invest in cryptocurrencies.

“Zimbabwe should be investing in understanding innovations and often central banks are too slow in investing in these technologies,” Ncube said. “But there are other countries which are moving faster. If you look at the Swiss central bank they are investing in- and understanding bitcoin. One can pay for travel using bitcoin in Switzerland.”

In May of this year, the central bank issued a circular ordering all financial institutions to discontinue relationships with crypto exchanges and liquidate existing crypto-related accounts. At the time, RBZ said the reason for the move was to protect the public and safeguard the integrity and safety of the country’s financial system.

Ncube said that if countries like Switzerland can see value in this technology and where it’s headed, Zimbabwe should also pay attention.

“We have innovative youngsters so the idea shouldn’t be to stop it and say don’t do this, but rather the regulators should invest in catching up with them and find ways to understand it, then you regulate it because you now understand it,” Ncube said.

Zimbabwe has been in economic decline since the 1990s, experiencing several crashes and hyperinflation along the way. Tourism was an important industry for the country, but has been failing in recent years. In July 2016, a nationwide protests took place regarding the economic collapse in the country, and the finance minister at the time admitted that “Right now we literally have nothing.” The economic meltdown and repressive political measures in the country have also led to a flood of refugees into neighbouring countries. An estimated 3.4 million Zimbabweans, a quarter of the population, had fled abroad by mid-2007.