The Central African Republic's presidency said that the government will open the continent's first legal cryptocurrency investment hub, deepening the poor country's embrace of digital money despite warnings from the International Monetary Fund. The Central African Republic, which has been ravaged by decades of conflict, became the first government in Africa and just the second in the world to adopt bitcoin as an official currency last month.
The government has given little detail about the mechanics of its bitcoin ambition so far. On the website for the soon-to-be-launched "SANGO" crypto venture, interested investors can sign up for a waiting list.
President Faustin-Archange Touadera stated in a statement on Monday that "a formal economy is no longer an option." "An impenetrable bureaucracy keeps us trapped in systems that do not allow us to compete."
There was no word on when the investment hub would open or how it would function. The decision to deploy bitcoin in a place where internet usage is low and electricity is unreliable raised concerns among crypto experts, bewildered lawmakers, and residents of the gold and diamond-producing country, and prompted the International Monetary Fund to issue a cautionary statement.
The six-nation Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa's regional banking authority also sent out a reminder about its ban on cryptocurrencies, adding that the embargo was in place to maintain financial stability. Many crypto assets have lost value in recent months, with bitcoin falling 39% in eight weeks and shedding more than half of its value since peaking at USD69,000 on Nov. 10.