• Namibia has legislated a crypto regulation bill into law, reversing its decision to ban crypto in 2017.
• The law aims to appoint a regulatory entity to oversee cryptocurrency exchanges and protect consumer interest in the ever-volatile crypto market.
• Non-compliant providers could face fine of up to $671,000 (10 million Namibian dollars) and 10 years in prison.
Namibia’s Crypto Regulation Bill
Namibia has legislated a crypto regulation bill into its law, reversing its decision to ban crypto in 2017. Called the Namibia Virtual Assets Act 2023, it is the first law in Namibia that outlines how to regulate crypto activities. Once the Ministry of Finance determines a date, the law will come into force in the country.
Purpose of Crypto Regulation Bill
The act aims to appoint a regulatory entity to oversee cryptocurrency exchanges in the country and control risks of money laundering and financing of terrorism through crypto assets. It also seeks to protect consumer interest in the ever-volatile crypto market.
Consequences for Non-Compliance
Non-compliant providers could reportedly face fine of up to $671,000 (10 million Namibian dollars) and 10 years in prison. However, the central bank has reiterated its position that cryptocurrency will not hold legal tender status in Namibia.
U-Turn from Previous Decision
In 2017, the central bank of Namibia published a paper declaring that under Exchange Control Act 1966, cryptocurrency exchanges are not permitted and cannot be accepted as payment for goods or services due to lack of legal premise. This recent decision marks an U-turn from this original position taken by the government six years ago.
This decision by Namibian government shows that many nations across globe are putting their faith on cryptocurrencies for remittances purpose and other consumer payments despite associated risks like money laundering, financing terrorism etc..