According to the recent decision by the National Bank of Rwanda (NBR), regulated financial service companies can no longer enable crypto-related transactions.
Acting Governor Soraya Hakuziyaremye notes the unregulated condition of most crypto assets leaves consumers without the “guarantees and safety associated with regulated financial services.”
NBR has also stated that financial service providers in the country are not permitted to engage in “any crypto-related operations until a regulatory framework is in place.” Also, Hakuziyaremye stated that:
“Although crypto asset activities are currently limited and do not represent significant dangers to the financial and monetary system.”
At the same time, NBR notes that cryptocurrencies strongly attract Rwandan citizens despite its warnings. The number of crypto trading has reached over $3 million (USD) since January 2020, including facilitating legal and financial service providers in the country.
The case is that the NBR is not prohibiting crypto in general. Still, at the same time, the NBR is interested in creating a central bank digital currency (CBDC).
In its communication, the NBR has been mentioning scams such as OneCoin and that crypto for being speculative with a risk of causing significant losses to investors. NBR’s recent decision shows how central banks can behave in arbitrary, undemocratic, and authoritarian ways regarding cryptocurrencies.