Several news outlets are reporting that the Central African Republic (CAR) has passed a bill favoring Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. While some headlines suggest that the African nation has adopted Bitcoin entirely, this is not the case.
The approved bill will allow for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency use within the financial markets. Further, it will allow citizens to pay their taxes with Bitcoin or cryptocurrency, and businesses will be able to accept them as a form of payment.
The minister of Digital Economy, Posts and Telecommunications, Justin Gourna Zacko, introduced the bill last Thursday and received unanimous support. Zacko hopes this bill will facilitate future Bitcoin and virtual currencies expansion in the country. He is also optimistic that sending and receiving money in the African nation will soon be much easier for citizens as support for digital assets grows.
The new law also includes provisions for violators, which include a maximum jail term of 20 years and fines of up to one billion Financial Community of Africa CFA francs (equivalent to 1.64 million U.S. dollars).
Gloire, founder of Kiveclair, explained his thoughts on the new law saying: “The real implication for people is that they can now have access to currencies other than the FCFA (this is the local currency) while being protected by law, and transfer money at a lower cost. Above all, they can carry out financial transactions without banks (while being protected by law).”
Currently, a total of 14 countries use the CFA franc, which is backed by the Euro. Because fiat currency continues to depreciate due to inflation, Bitcoin and cryptocurrency are seeing an increasing amount of adoption in countries across the world.
El Salvador still remains the only country that has accepted Bitcoin as a legal currency despite warnings from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the associated risks.