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Zimbabwe’s Banking Ban on Cryptocurrencies: Imposed by Central Bank, Lifted by High Court

May 25, 2018 12:54
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At a time when cryptocurrency market is filled with negative news of hacks and investigation probes a major positive development has taken shape in Zimbabwe. The banking ban imposed by country’s Central Bank on cryptocurrency companies has come to a dead end after 10 days. Harare High Court just lifted the ban in a “default ruling”, and now Zimbabwe is all set to start trading and using cryptocurrencies once again.

The ruling was given after Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) and its Governor failed to appear in Harare High Court for the hearing of case. Since they didn’t appear to put their case before the court, court gave a default ruling that lifted the ban imposed by RBZ.

In case you don’t know, taking a page out of India’s playbook Zimbabwe had recently imposed a banking ban on domestic crypto industry. In turn Golix, a major cryptocurrency exchange operating in the country, had challenged the ban in Harare High Court making RBZ and its Governor the respondents to his application. The court hearing was scheduled for yesterday, but neither any RBZ representative nor the governor of Central Bank showed up in Court. Therefore, the ban was lifted.

Golix itself was the first to announce the great news:

“The ban was lifted. A statement would follow. We are hoping that we can immediately go back to doing business and processing the order book.”

Golix had halted its operations after Central Bank’s banking ban last week due to difficulties in processing transactions. Later it also received a warning letter from the bank asking it to shut down its operations. The letter said:

“All cryptocurrency exchange houses operating in the country, including Bitfinance (Private) Limited (also known as Golix), are required to cease all virtual currency exchange operations.”

Now when ‘Big Brother’ has been shown the right place, the entire crypto community of Zimbabwe is cheering up. Fadzayi Mahere, a Zimbabwe-based lawyer tweeted from her Twitter account:

“RBZ ban on cryptos lifted by the High Court. Administrative justice is alive and well in this jurisdiction. Section 68 of the Constitution is our best friend.”

Thanks to hyperinflation, cryptocurrencies have become part of life in Zimbabwe. They’re used not only in trading but also as means of exchange because country’s own currency ‘Zimbabwean Dollar’ has become essentially worthless. Currently at least 9 different fiat currencies are accepted as means of exchange in the country, including US dollar and Indian rupee. But people found Bitcoin more favorable than all of them so Bitcoin has become a more popular currency in Zimbabwe. Needless to say that in such circumstances Central Bank’s banking ban on cryptos not only highlighted its inability to regulate cryptocurrencies but also caused a lot of problem to citizens. It’s great that the ban has been lifted now.

Our banking ban, however, is still in place. God knows for how long we’ll have to live with it!

Technology and business were my core interests, so it wasn't surprising that I got interested in cryptocurrencies, which operate at the intersection of both these things. Now I live my passion by trading cryptocurrencies and covering Cryptocurrency news. You can connect with me on Facebook to learn more about me. :)


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