Zimbabwean minister signals interest in CBDC amid rumors of Bitcoin adoption
Zimbabwe’s Information Minister has publicly denied the ongoing rumors that the country is investigating the adoption of cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin (BTC). Instead, Minister Monica Mutsvangwa made it clear that the Zimbabwean government is interested in testing a central bank digital currency (CBDC).
Rumors of the adoption of cryptocurrencies in Zimbabwe have surfaced on the basis of several reports quoting Charles Wekwete, Secretary of State for the Presidency, that the government is in talks with private companies to help the world introduce cryptocurrencies in the country.
Just a day after the report, Mutsvangwa attended a cabinet meeting to refute claims about the continued adoption of crypto:
“The government wants to assure the country that it is not considering introducing another currency into the economy, as has been reported in some media outlets. Our national currency is the Zimbabwean dollar (ZW $) and not crypto ”.
In addition, the minister made it clear that the Zimbabwean government is following in the footsteps of other countries by examining “CBDC versus cryptocurrency, bitcoin or any form of derivative”.
It is important to note that CBDC is a digital token issued by the central bank of the government. When introduced in Zimbabwe, the digital tokens will be pegged to the Zimbabwean dollar and have the monetary value of the local currency in real time.
Governments around the world are experimenting with retail and wholesale CBDCs to find cheaper cross-border payment alternatives while increasing the ability to track transactions to prevent money laundering and other activities.
Related: Ghana discovers offline offers for the upcoming CBDC
CBDCs are currently viewed by many governments in Africa as a tool to accelerate their financial inclusion initiatives. Recently, Ghana joined the growing list of African countries that are currently testing CBDC use cases.
As Cointelegraph reported, the CBDC, e-cedi, developed by the Bank of Ghana will support offline transactions. According to Kwame Oppong, the bank’s director of fintech and innovation, “e-cedi has the potential to be used in an offline environment through a range of smart cards.”
The offline trading function of Ghana’s CBDC aims to encourage the adoption of the technology in areas lacking access to electricity and reliable internet connections.