Botswana Passes a Virtual Assets Bill to Regulate Trading of Cryptocurrencies

Botswana lawmakers have passed a bill to regulate the trading of cryptocurrencies and digital tokens, according to Finance Minister, Peggy Serame.

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Botswana lawmakers have passed a bill to regulate the trading of cryptocurrencies and digital tokens, according to Finance Minister, Peggy Serame.

The Virtual Assets Bill is expected to help the country further tighten anti-money laundering following its removal from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) list of countries that have shortcomings in combating money laundering and terrorist financing in October 2021.

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SEE ALSO4 Out of the 9 Countries with a Total Ban on Cryptocurrencies are in North Africa

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The legislation comes just 2 months after the Central Bank of Botswana warned the public of the risks of investing in cryptocurrencies due to their unregulated nature.

In its statement, published on this publication in November 2021, the Bank of Botswana made the following observations:

  • There is no specific legal or regulatory framework pertaining to crypto assets such as bitcoin
  • It is advisable and prudent that those intending to participate in crypto assets activity to undertake due dligence
  • There is general concern that the undelying activity may relate to pyramid scheme and scams
  • The reference to crypto assets as currencies is a misnomer because they do not exhibit key fundamentals of money
  • There is no recourse to the bank for redress pertaining to fraud, misconduct or financial loss related to crypto assets

The bill will not require anyone seeking to offer crypto services to get a license from the Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority.

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RECOMMENDED READING: The Central Bank of Botswana Addresses the Legality of Crypto Assets in Botswana

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