Although the use of Bitcoin was banned in Morocco four years ago, the cryptocurrency continues to thrive in the country. And it is just a few days ago, the news that the central bank of Morocco has begun to study the advantages of the launch of its CBDC (central bank digital currency).
The analysis of the advantages and disadvantages offered by a CBDC begins
The pros and cons of a CBDC will be evaluated by an exploratory committee of the Moroccan central bank exactly four years after banning cryptocurrencies in the country, according to a report published by Morocco World News.
Due to the "speculative nature" of cryptocurrencies, Morocco's central bank continues to take a very cautious approach, according to the report. The exploratory committee hired by the Moroccan central bank will try to analyze and identify the pros and cons of CDBC in the country's economy. All this, although the country had previously expressed a strong concern about the lack of regulation of cryptocurrencies, pointing out that users were exposed to too great risks with the use of digital currencies.
Although the use of BTC has been banned in Morocco (although it is still possible buy bitcoin if desired), the world's leading cryptocurrency continues to thrive in the country, with Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria among the African countries trading the most BTC. But why has the use of cryptocurrency been banned in the country?
Moroccan regulators warn: users who use cryptocurrencies will be sanctioned
The foreign exchange authority in Morocco has made it known that the use of cryptocurrencies within the country can lead to penalties against users under existing rules.
The Office des Changes states that transactions made using cryptocurrencies within Morocco constitute a "violation of exchange regulations" that are punishable by the penalties provided for by current laws, a press release read.
The office also urges the public to comply with the provisions of the foreign exchange regulations, which state that international financial transactions must be carried out through authorized intermediaries and only with foreign currencies listed by the Al-Maghrib Bank, the central bank of the North African country.
The office warns: "This is a payment system that is not supported by an organization, the use of virtual currencies poses significant risks to their users."
In a final note, the Office des Changes indicates that - together with the central bank of Morocco and the Professional Group of Banks of Morocco (GPBM) - it is following "with interest" the evolution of virtual currencies in the country.
Yet something is moving
Last week, a digital services company MTDS introduced bitcoin as a payment method for its services in Morocco, according to a report. It is not yet clear how the official statement will affect the company.
The statement comes just a month after neighboring Algeria indicated it could also ban cryptocurrencies, Huffington Post Algeria points out.
The country's financial bill for 2018, currently under consideration by the National People's Congress, would outlaw the possession of virtual currencies like bitcoin and their use in transactions.