Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (27 April 2022)
The Central African Republic (CAR) is a sparsely populated country with a population of 5.4 million people and an internet penetration of 11%. Despite having gold and diamond reserves, the Republic is one of the world’s poorest countries. CAR has suffered years of conflict that damaged its economy and alienated the country from developed ones and their much-needed aid. Embracing bitcoin as a legal means of conducting transactions may be the country’s last resort to attain economic recovery.
According to a Forbes article released on April 25, the National Assembly has unanimously agreed and signed a bill to accept bitcoin as legal currency within its domestic border. The Minister of Finance and Digital Economy have also established a regulatory framework and body that will have oversight of cryptocurrencies and facilitate their use.
In a phone interview with Washington D.C., Finance Minister Herve Ndoba said, “There’s a common narrative that sub-Saharan African countries are often one step behind when it comes to adapting to new technology. This time, we can actually say that our country is one step ahead.” He further added that this move is not an attempt to follow the lead of El Salvador, which became the first country in the world to legalize the economic use of bitcoin.
Whether this action will truly benefit CAR is debatable, with national internet coverage only reaching 11% in 2022. However, CryptoPotato has called this measure a sensible one, seeing how badly the country needs to be lifted out of the economic crisis.
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