Morocco’s Central Bank Starts Work on Crypto Regulation

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Even in the face of extremely volatile price swings that haven’t been exactly positive in the past few months, crypto regulation is a hot topic around the world. El Salvador got everyone on notice when it made Bitcoin legal tender, and South Africa followed suit. Panama is another country that should regulate Bitcoin, until the president interfered. While other countries are still hesitant for such a move, Morocco is certainly open to the idea.

Latest news from the African country says that the Central Bank is working closely with the IMF to deliver a set of crypto rules. It’s the latest country to try and formally control the crypto sector. The Central Bank, Bank Al-Magrib, is working with the IMF and the World Bank on specific guidelines that will regulate the now-illegal crypto market in the country.

Regulation, Not Legalization

While it’s certainly great that a country such as Morocco is open to the idea of crypto regulation, it doesn’t mean it’ll follow El Salvador’s move. The IMF and other global financial regulators have warned everyone of the dangers of legalizing Bitcoin. At the same time, these organizations have called for global crypto regulation which will allow countries to prevent numerous legal problems with Bitcoin and other coins.

According to insiders, the regulation won’t seek to ban cryptos. However, it will try and protect customers and promote innovation. Morocco’s focus is on anti-terrorism and money laundering, which are two painful moments the African country is trying to avoid.

Before this, Bank Al-Magrib’s governor Abdul Latif Al Jawhari said that adopting cryptocurrencies is a matter of “when”, not “if”. At the moment, Al Jawhari explained, the country was not ready to adopt Bitcoin due to lack of regulatory framework. The crypto sector is very popular in Morocco, especially among the youth, so it needs further regulation. However, the bank still acknowledges the dangers of this sector, which led to the previous ban of Bitcoin in 2017.

Things have changed a lot in the coming years, though, so new regulation is required.

Fourth in Crypto Trading Volume in Africa

Morocco is reportedly the fourth country in Africa in crypto trading volume after Nigeria, South Africa, and Kenya. Two of those countries have either officialized crypto regulation or looking into it, with only Kenya not having a regulatory framework. Morocco is pushing hard to deliver a set of rules that will protect traders and investors and balance it with innovation.

Experts say that innovation will come in the money laundering and anti-terrorism policies. It remains to be seen how and what the terms will specify on these points, but it’s clear that the IMF is setting the rules here. There’s no ETA on the date when the law might hit. There are still issues to be addressed, so by all accounts, regulation won’t come by the end of the year.

It’s great to see a country taking a proactive approach to crypto regulation, although we’re not sure how the IMF will interfere. Still, it proves that cryptos are the hot topic worldwide, and it’s great that countries are looking into regulation.

June 29, 2022: • No Comments

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