Bitcoin declared legal currency in Central African Republic

The Central African Republic declared Bitcoin an official currency, becoming the second nation after El Salvador to accept the cryptocurrency as legal tender.
“Cryptomoney including Bitcoin is now considered an official currency in CAR,” Albert Mokpeme, spokesman for President Faustin-Archange Touadera, said Thursday by phone from the capital, Bangui. “By legalizing the use of Bitcoin, CAR hopes to attract investors,” he said, adding that its use will ease money transfers that can “sometimes be complicated in our country.” 

The Central African Republic, which has gold and diamond reserves, is one of the world’s poorest nations. Years of violent conflict and a political crisis in the lead up to presidential elections in December 2020 have had a severe impact on the economy and damaged relations with its international partners, leading to delays in the distribution of aid and some partners suspending budget support.

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About 11% of the landlocked nation’s 5 million population have internet access, according to DataReportal, an online data portal.The use of Bitcoin was primarily appealing to nations that lacked the ability to control their money supply and obtain international loans backed in their own currencies, said Bronwyn Ruth Williams, future finance specialist at Flux Trends in Johannesburg. 

The technology required to use the cryptocurrency was also simpler and cheaper than a number of mainstream financial solutions, its adoption could be encouraged though incentives such as offering free Bitcoins to all those opening up government wallets, and it was likely to be well received, she said. 

Source: Bloomberg Business News