What is the legality of crypto in Africa? Cryptocurrency is not accepted in all the countries in the world. In fact, the legality of crypto depends on the government policies of a country and therefore it varies from one jurisdiction to another.
When you look for the legal status of crypto on the internet there will be some sites that will define it clearly while others will not.
This may cause a lot of confusion in finding out whether you live in a region where crypto transactions are accepted.
For example, if you stay somewhere in Africa it is not needed to know about the legal status of crypto in the United States.
This is because the rules and regulations followed there for crypto transactions may not be the same followed by the African government.
Here is an article that will tell you all about the legal status of crypto in Africa. Read on to know about it and engage yourself with crypto trading with more confidence.
What is the Legality of Crypto in Africa?
The legal status of crypto in Africa is not the same all throughout the nation.
Different regions have different rules and regulations and in some regions crypto transactions are banned completely.
Here is the complete set of rules and regulations regarding crypto in some of the major regions of Africa enlisted for your knowledge in alphabetical order and differentiated by the different parts of the nation.
The legality of crypto in the Northern Africa is as follows:
In Algeria crypto is illegal. According to Article 117 of the ‘Journal Officiel,’ any purchase, sale, holding, and use of crypto is prohibited in Algeria.
In fact, in Algeria any transaction made in place of physical coins, notes, checks and even credit cards is banned.
Anyone violating it is punishable according to the specific laws and regulation in force in Algeria.
Crypto is illegal in Egypt as well. The chief Islamic legislator of Egypt, Dar al-Ifta, has issued a religious decree which states that any commercial transaction using virtual currencies like Bitcoin is classified as ‘haram,’ which means it is prohibited under the Islamic law.
Crypto transactions were declared illegal in Morocco as well on November 20, 2017 by the Office des Changes and a public statement was issued by the exchange office.
In the statement it is clearly mentioned that any transaction made through any type of virtual currencies will be considered as an infringement of the rules and regulations of the exchange.
Anyone violating it is punishable and is also liable to penalties and fines according to the existing laws in Morocco.
The next day, several other monetary agencies in Morocco such as the Moroccan Capital Market Authority or AMMC, Ministry of Economy and Finance, and Bank Al-Maghrib issued a statement jointly in reaction to the statement of the Office des Changes.
In the statement they warned the people about the risks associated with Bitcoin that may be used for criminal activities, terrorist funding and money laundering.
Almost a month later on December 19, 2017, the governor of the Bank Al-Maghrib, Abdellatif Jouahri said in a press conference that Bitcoin is not a currency.
It is a financial asset that comes with a lot of dangers. He also said that a proper framework should be created and implemented to protect the consumers of the bank.
In Nigeria, located in the Western region of the African continent, however, the rule is a bit difficult.
Here, crypto transactions are legal and unregulated but the banks are banned from dealing with cryptocurrencies.
The Central Bank of Nigeria CBN issued a statement in January 207 that informed all banks in Nigeria that no banking transaction should be made with Bitcoin and other types of crypto coins since these are banned.
There was another committee formed later on by the CBN and the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation NDIC.
It looked into the prospects of digital currencies and blockchain technology and the possibility of adopting it by the country.
However, quite a few sub-committees are yet to complete their work on the issue.
Later on, The Central Bank of Nigeria issued a notice to all financial institutions to inform them that in Nigeria dealing or facilitating a payment in crypto coins is prohibited and violations will be handled strictly which may result in stiff penalties.
East and Central Africa
In Tanzania use of crypto is legal though the use of it is discouraged by the central bank.
However, crypto in this region is not banned officially though the Tanzanian shilling still is accepted as the legal tender.
In the Indian Ocean State Mauritius cryptocurrency is legal. Ideally, the Financial Services Commission of Mauritius stresses that crypto should be regulated like a digital asset according to the Financial Services Act 2007.
However, the investors are warned that they are not protected by any legal compensation agreement.
In Angola, use of crypto coins is legal though the Angolan government warns the general public about the virtual currencies and advises its citizens against using Bitcoin since as of now there is no legislation against it even though it is fully legal.
Use of crypto is legal in South Africa. According to a position paper issued by the Reserve Bank of South Africa in December 2014 about virtual currencies it is declared these currencies however do not have any proper regulatory framework or status as a legal tender.
The South African Revenue Service considers Bitcoin as an intangible asset.
Cryptocurrencies are not accepted in Namibia as a payment for goods and services.
Moreover, crypto exchanges operating in Namibia are considered to be illegal according to a declaration in the position paper issued by the Bank of Namibia in September 2017.
Though the latest updates on the stance of Zimbabwe needs some updates,
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has not released any updates on the legality of crypto yet since they are still skeptical about Bitcoin.
The country has not allowed using crypto as a payment for goods and service as of now officially.
It seems that Zimbabwe does not have any plans to adopt cryptocurrencies soon as a legal tender, including the major coins such as Bitcoin and Ether due to the price volatility.
This is all available about the legality status of different countries in the African continent. Now that you know about it, you can decide for yourself whether you are eligible to use crypto or not. However, do some more research to stay updated.