00:00

The Namibian government made a crucial step when officially signing a new law regulating Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) operating nationwide. This is a major turnaround from its earlier attitude, which prohibited Bitcoin exchanges in 2017.
The Namibia Virtual Assets Act 2023, which governs VASPs, was enacted by the Namibia National Assembly on July 6 and signed by President Hage Geingob on July 14. On July 21, the law was officially inserted into the Republic of Namibia Gazette.

This ground-breaking law is intended to create a regulatory entity in charge of monitoring cryptocurrency exchanges in the country. It is a landmark law since it is the first to establish extensive instructions on how Namibia should govern cryptocurrency-related operations.

In terms of implementation, the law is set to go into effect on a date decided by Namibia’s Ministry of Finance. This indicates that Virtual Asset Service Providers must comply with the norms and recommendations once the designated date is reached.

Noncompliance with the new legislation could result in harsh penalties for providers, including fines of up to $671,000 (equal to 10 million Namibian dollars) and up to ten years in prison. It should be noted that the Bank of Namibia maintains its view that cryptocurrencies will not be granted legal tender status in Namibia.

Physical bitcpoin on gavel to symbolize Unlocking Africa's Crypto Revolution

Namibia’s cryptocurrency regulatory journey began in May 2018, when the Bank of Namibia reconsidered its initial decision to prohibit cryptocurrency exchanges, resulting in the current pro-regulation posture.

South Africa’s financial authority recently declared that all cryptocurrency exchanges operating in the nation would need to receive licenses by the end of 2023 to maintain operations, reflecting a broader trend toward regulatory clarity in the African region.

Several other African countries have also made moves to address Bitcoin issues. Countries like Botswana, Kenya, Mauritius, and Seychelles have already enacted cryptocurrency legislation. The Central African Republic famously recognized Bitcoin as a legal tender in April 2022, but the law was quickly revoked.

According to the International Monetary Fund, various African countries, including Cameroon, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Liberia, the Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe, have banned cryptocurrencies.

The regulatory landscape for cryptocurrencies in Africa is constantly changing, with different nations taking different methods to address the difficulties and opportunities posed by the digital asset industry.Unlocking Africa’s Crypto Revolution: The New Era of Cryptocurrency Regulations