East Africa: Malawi Doesn’t Consider Cryptos a Legal Tender


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“Not a legal tender” is a phrase that we have come across more often in the past 12 months than we ever did in the past. A report published on a local news agency Nyasa Times on May 27, 2019, informed that the Reserve Bank of Malawi has jumped on the bandwagon to declare that cryptocurrencies were not a legal tender in Malawi.

Use Cryptos at Your Own Risk

The picture of cryptocurrencies is still quite hazy for most constitutions around the world. Some find it risky due to the scams that have been reported around it while others say that it dis-empowers their national currency. There are also those who find hope in it.

In a recent report by a local news outlet Nyasa Times, the central bank of the East African country Malawi, Reserve Bank of Malawi, has announced that cryptocurrencies were not accepted as a legal tender in the country and that the Reserve Bank of Malawi stood against crypto-related activities.

Governor of RBM, Dr. Dalitso Kabambe, after noting the hike in inquiries made about cryptocurrencies and also its use on various platforms, advised users of cryptocurrencies that they must use it at their own risk as no legal recourse happened to exist in Malawi to protect them in case of any unwanted incidents.

Just like it is in many other countries and in Malawi, cryptos have entered the dimension where they are neither legal nor illegal.

The Naysayers

Even the countries that are spearheading blockchain innovation seem skeptical when it comes to cryptocurrency adoption. Though most haven’t enforced a blanket ban on the new economy, they have banned financial institutions from dealing with cryptocurrency users or companies.

China, which happens to be a hub for major innovation, has strictly banned cryptocurrencies and all exchanges and companies dealing with it. India, on the other hand, has so far been slight lenient with only a banking ban in place. Similarly, even Singapore and Russia have long stood their grounds in terms of warning investors and enterprises against the use of cryptocurrencies and have prohibited financial institutes from dealing with it. 

It must also be noted that there are major countries, such as the United States and Germany, that have accepted cryptocurrencies with open arms. Malta, though not a huge nation, has rightfully earned the title of the blockchain island due to its crypto regulation that has helped many innovators base their offices within the territory.

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