Africa: Central Bank of Malawi Says Crypto Is Not Legal Tender, Warns of Trading Risks

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The Reserve Bank of Malawi said that crypto is not legal and the state does not plan to recognize crypto investments in the country.

The central bank of Malawi announced that crypto is not legal in the country and that the institution is against crypto-related activities, local news agency Nyasa Times reports on May 27.

The Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) has stated that cryptocurrencies are not legal tender in Malawi and do not represent a substitute to the Malawi kwacha (MWK), the local fiat currency of the southeast African country.

The bank has warned its citizens that the government is not planning to recognize investments in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin (BTC), according to a statement from RBM Governor Dalitso Kabambe on Monday.

The official reportedly claimed that the bank has advised the public that all crypto-related activities such as purchasing, trading or using cryptocurrency as payment are made at an individual’s own risk. Kabambe stressed that there is no institution in the government that oversees crypto trading and regulates the parties involved in the industry.

In this regard, the governor named major risks associated with crypto investments, including money laundering and security breaches, as well as vulnerabilities to hacks and fraudulent activities.

Kabambe also noted that there is no crypto exchange that has been registered in the country, a fact that represents another risk factor for local people wishing to invest in crypto.

According to the report, the RBM’s official statement has followed a growing interest from the country’s residents on the matter, including the increased number of crypto-related enquiries to the bank.

On the other hand, Kabambe said that the RBM is aware of the potential of blockchain, the underlying technology of most cryptocurrencies that has particular use cases in a number of industries. He added that the bank will continue to track global developments regarding the technology, and reserves the right to review its stance and regulatory position if considers it to be necessary.

Earlier this year, the South African Reserve Bank released a consultation paper revealing that the local government did not plan to ban either cryptocurrency trading or crypto payments at the time.

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