According to an interview with Zambia's Minister of Innovation, Science, and Technology, Felix Mutati, tests are being conducted to simulate the use of crypto in real-world situations in order to assist in the development of crypto regulations in Zambia.
The tests are expected to be concluded by June. The purpose of carrying out these tests is to observe the potential impact of crypto in real-life scenarios, which will aid in shaping the country's laws related to crypto.
Zambia's central bank and securities regulator started conducting the crypto tests on February 19. Mutati explained that the tests aim to balance innovation and safety. The primary objective of Zambia's crypto policy is to balance innovation in the realm of digital payments with the safety of citizens, especially because crypto is highly volatile.
Additionally, Mutati said that the introduction of crypto in Zambia is subject to the implementation of digital identities and other digital infrastructures. Despite the long-delayed debt restructuring process in Zambia, which includes a substantial portion of debt owed to Chinese creditors, Mutati claimed that investment in Zambia has not been affected. In fact, there is an increased interest in investing in Zambia, he said.
According to a Reuters report on April 12, Zambia was the first country in Africa to default at the start of the COVID 19 pandemic in 2020. The Treasury Secretary of Zambia, Felix Nkulukusa, stated in a separate report that the country could lose the benefits of its macroeconomic reforms if the debt restructuring process is further delayed.
In February, when Mutati announced that the country would be conducting tests to regulate crypto, he mentioned that digital payment platforms would allow more people to access digital financial services. He further stated that crypto has the potential to enhance financial inclusion and transform Zambia's economy.
Several African countries have been taking steps towards adopting crypto in recent times. In April 2022, the Central African Republic made Bitcoin a legal tender, and a regulatory framework was established for the use of crypto in the country.
In December 2021, it was reported that the Nigerian government intends to pass a new law that will recognize crypto and other digital funds as capital for investment, despite having banned crypto activity in the past year.
The writer is the founder at yMedia. He ventured into crypto in 2013 and is an ETH maximalist. Twitter: @bhardwajshash