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It is the first African country to take the plunge: since April 22, the Central African Republic has legalized the use of cryptocurrency. This decision has raised concerns in the country. Its neighbor Cameroon is also working on a framework. Update on regulations in the Cémac zone and current developments.
The Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa does not currently have common legislation on cryptocurrencies, but it is working on it, explains Didier Loukakou, the director of legal affairs and regulation at the Commission de surveillance du marché. financial institution of Central Africa (Cosumaf), the regional regulator. ” There is currently a concerted approach to achieve what should be joint or concerted supervision at the area level. »
For the regulator, there is no objection to States adopting national legislation in this area. ” When the time comes, bridges will be built between this national system that the Central African Republic has just taken and the regional system that will – in principle – succeed and impose itself on everyone this year. »
For Didier Loukakou, you have to hear this enthusiasm in the region… “ You don’t have to be prudish either. There is an innovation that is represented by these crypto-assets. Even if there are risks, there are also some opportunities that are offered. I think that everything that constitutes a consecration of crypto-assets is rather in the right direction. We are not in a process of prohibition, no, we are rather in a framework process. »
Fears and distrust
In the Central African Republic, following the adoption of the law, voices of the opposition shared their fears about the risks of money laundering and tax evasion in particular. The regulator does not minimize these issues, hence the need to supervise and inform the public.
” The configuration of this system can organize an anonymity of the transactions and data that are contained in this system and which ultimately leads to fears of the use of this system for criminal purposes. We know that in the area, in our countries, there is the phenomenon of terrorism and in particular with the deployment of Boko Haram and other criminal groups where it has been demonstrated that they use crypto-assets to finance themselves.says Didier Loukakou. It should be avoided that this new system hosts transactions for criminal purposes. This is the main source of risk that must be contained. »
Cosumaf is already alerting to certain fraudulent campaigns. On the ground, a regional text will make it possible to coordinate the action, assures Didier Loukakou. ” This is done in particular in the fight against money laundering. Each supervisor in his sphere of competence intervenes, but on the territory of a CEMAC member state, of course, police brigades are used to carry out investigations. So there, the approach will not change. »
Last week, the IMF warned about the use of cryptocurrencies. The Fund calls for not seeing ” a panacea against the economic challenges faced by African states.