Swaziland May Embrace Cryptocurrencies

Swaziland May Embrace Cryptocurrency as Central Bank Addresses Innovation

According to a recent report from the Swazi Observer, the governor of the Central Bank of Swaziland (CBS), chief Majozi Sithole, noted that although the central bank remains cautious on embracing cryptocurrencies, the possibility of using them in the country is being assessed.

The announcement was made while Sithole was speaking at an economic forum last week. Although no clear statement was made, the central bank’s governor made it clear that, at the financial institution, cryptocurrencies are currently being studied, and that officials don’t want to impede financial innovation. He notably stated:

“It may not be wise to dismiss virtual currencies and as the CBS we are learning and we want to accept and support innovation. If this is innovation, we do not want to stifle it. We want to learn more about it. Even with Mobile Money, it took time for us to know what it is and we liaised with countries that have succeeded at it.”

Just like any central bank governor would, Majozi Sithole took the opportunity to warn potential investors on cryptocurrencies as well, as these, including bitcoin, aren’t regulated in Swaziland and there’s nothing the central bank can do in case of fraud or regarding volatility.

Moreover, he pointed out that there are a lot of questions surrounding the economic impact of embracing bitcoin in the country, including how it would affect Swaziland’s financial stability and monetary policy.

Sithole’s words were of caution, as he made it clear the central bank was trying to protect people. He stated:

“We are aware that people are trading on these platforms and we want to caution people to be careful. This has become a topical issue globally and we are studying it and continued talking to experts on this issue.”

Swaziland’s interest in cryptocurrencies

Although the country’s central bank governor has now openly spoken about the possibility of embracing cryptocurrencies, this isn’t the first time that interest has been shown. Back in August, an internal news circular written by the financial institution’s senior communications officer, Lindokuhle Sithole Shabangu, notes that research was being done around cryptocurrencies.

The document shows that the central bank monitored FinTech’s development both in order to make sure that the country’s current regulatory framework “remains relevant and appropriate,” and to ensure FinTech’s development and deployment are done “in a manner that sufficiently safeguards the interest of the users.”