Last Monday, the Namibian government finally passed legislation to regulate Virtual Asset Service Providers operating in the country, reverting its initial choice to ban cryptocurrency exchanges in 2017.
After being adopted by Namibia’s National Assembly on July 6 and signed by President Hage Geingob on July 14, the VASP-regulating law was put into the Republic of Namibia’s Gazette on July 21.
The Namibia Virtual Assets Act 2023 intends to establish a regulatory authority to oversee crypto exchanges in the country. It is the country’s first law outlining how cryptocurrency-related activity should be regulated.
It will go into effect on a date set by the country’s Ministry of Finance. Among the primary goals of the law are to safeguard consumers, eliminate market exploitation, and reduce the risks of money laundering and terrorism financing.
Non-compliant providers could face fines of up to ten million Namibian dollars ($671,000) and ten years in prison, according to reports.
The Bank of Namibia, the country’s central bank, argues that cryptocurrencies will not be legal tender in the country.
The country’s legal reversal began in May 2018, when the Bank of Namibia reversed its previous judgment to prohibit cryptocurrency exchanges.
South Africa’s financial authority said earlier this month that all cryptocurrency exchanges in the nation will need to receive licenses by the end of 2023 in order to keep operations.
Botswana, Kenya, Mauritius, and Seychelles are among the other African countries that have enacted cryptocurrency legislation.
In April 2022, the Central African Republic made Bitcoin BTC a $29,219 legal tender; however, the legislation was rescinded less than a year later.
According to the International Monetary Fund, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Liberia, the Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe have been identified as the African countries that have banned the use of cryptocurrencies.