Reserve Bank of Malawi takes cryptocurrency discourse to policy indaba
The Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) is expected to take the cryptocurrency discourse to the second Monetary Policy Conference slated for Mangochi on November 18.
This is despite cryptocurrencies or digital currencies which include Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Zcash, Dach and Ripple, remaining an illegal tender for trading in the country.
A cryptocurrency is a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange that uses strong cryptography to secure financial transactions, control the creation of additional units, and verify the transfer of assets.
RBM says in a statement that the second monetary policy conference will be held under the theme ‘Cryptocurrency and Monetary Policy in Malawi’.
“The conference aims at providing a platform for stakeholders to engage and discuss the evolution of financial technology with a focus on block chain technology, cryptocurrencies, Central Bank digital currencies and their likely implications on monetary policy and financial stability.
“In addition, the conference is expected to analyse risks and opportunities presented by these innovations,” reads the statement.
Among others, delegates to the conference will discuss the existence and extent of adoption of cryptocurrencies in Malawi; experience of cryptocurrencies in the Southern Africa Development Corporation region; monetary policy and financial stability in the cryptocurrency era; and plausibility and readiness of RBM in adoption of Central Bank Digital Currency.
RBM Governor, Dalitso Kabambe, said in May this year that neither the Central Bank nor any public institution in Malawi has oversight responsibility over cryptocurrency trade.
Kabambe argued that the online and borderless nature of cryptocurrencies means that most of the trading is conducted via systems and platforms that are based outside Malawi.
“So far, there is no cryptocurrency exchange known to have been registered in Malawi, notwithstanding any trading by its citizenry or local entities on the foreign-based exchanges.
“Members of the public should, therefore, guard against being exploited by ambiguous and unscrupulous schemes, and are further urged to deal with financial service providers licensed by RBM, which is the sole regulatory authority for financial services in Malawi,” Kabambe said in a statement.
Last year, RBM held its first Monetary Policy Conference which deliberated the pros and cons of interest rate capping and whether Malawi could consider taking the interest rate capping route.
The conference attracted the academia, researchers, representatives from IMF, World Bank, National Assembly, and experts from neighboring central banks.