Namibia passes bill that regulates crypto exchanges

By: Dickson Arinze

Namibia passes bill that regulates crypto exchanges

July 26, 2023 11:34 PM

The bill will go into effect on a date designated by Namibia's Ministry of Finance.

The government of Namibia reversed its 2017 prohibition on cryptocurrency exchanges last week when it passed a law regulating→ virtual assets service providers in the region.

The VASP-regulating law→ was entered into the Gazette of the Republic of Namibia on July 21, after being adopted by Namibia's lawmakers on July 6 and authorized by President Hage Geingob on July 14.

The Namibia Virtual Asset Act 2023 seeks to establish a legislative framework for the oversight of crypto exchanges operating within the country. It is the first law outlining how the country will regulate cryptocurrency-related activity.

It will go into→ effect on a date set by Namibia's Ministry of Finance.


The bill turned into law when it was published in the Namibian Gazette.
Source: Namibia government

Among the primary goals of the law are to safeguard consumers, prevent market exploitation, and reduce the risks of money laundering and terrorism financing.

According to reports, service providers who fail to comply might be subject to fines of up to N$10 million ($671,000) and ten years in prison. The Bank of Namibia, the country's central bank, stands firm on its previous position that cryptocurrencies would not be recognized as legal tender.

In May 2018, the Bank of Namibia reversed→ its previous decision to outlaw cryptocurrency exchanges, marking the beginning of Namibia's legal about-face.

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 to continue operations.

In addition to South Africa, Botswana, Kenya, Mauritius, and the Seychelles have all established their own cryptocurrency laws. The Central African Republic legalized Bitcoin (BTC) in April 2022, however, that legislation was rescinded→ less than a year later.

According→ to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), a number of African nations have outright banned cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and its ilk. The nations that have done so include Cameroon, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Liberia, the Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe.