Tanzania’s apex bank goes to work on president’s cryptocurrency push

Tanzania’s central bank has said it is working on President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s directive to prepare for cryptocurrencies, pointing to a possible reversal of a ban it put in place in 2019.

The new president, who came to power after the death of her predecessor in March, said this month the arrival of digital currencies in the East Africa nation was inevitable.

Tanzania’s central bank banned cryptocurrencies in November 2019, saying they were not recognized by local law, but it now says it is adapting following the president’s comments.

“The bank is working on the directives given,” a Bank of Tanzania spokesperson told Reuters this week, declining to give further detail.

The spokesperson did not respond to questions on whether the bank plans to adopt existing cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, or was looking to issue its own digital currency as China has done.

Hassan’s directive reflect her much more open attitude to foreign investment, a shift from the stance of her predecessor John Magufuli, who tussled with foreign gold miners and even locked horns with neighboring Kenya over access to the market.


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