The Bank of Namibia has reiterated its warning to the public to refrain from investing in cryptocurrencies, saying they remain risky.

The Central Bank's Governor, Johannes !Gawaxab says there are instances where virtual currencies are used to conceal crimes such as fraud, theft, money laundering, and to fund terrorism, although benefits also exist.

Speaking at an information-sharing session with virtual currency experts in the capital,!Gawaxab emphasised that although they are keen to learn about new innovative ways to modernise Namibia's financial systems, risks and threats exist.

As such, Namibia has agreed to appoint a technical committee to develop a policy on the issuance of licenses and a regulatory policy for virtual assets and service providers.

!Gawaxab also reiterated that no legal protection exists should anyone lose funds if they invest in cryptocurrencies pending the finalisation and operationalisation of a new regulatory framework.

The central bank will now allow cryptocurrency service providers to be registered with the bank under its Fintech Framework so that they can conduct operations under its ambit. 

He said payments between merchants and consumers can take place with cryptocurrencies if both parties are in agreement and do so at their own risk. 

Meanwhile, experts from Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa also shared ideas on the benefits and risks of cryptocurrencies.

The Bank of Namibia, however, acknowledged that COVID-19 has disrupted payment systems as stores now prefer electronic payments.

Photo Credits
Namibian Presidency
Kandjii Kaipaherue