Central African Republic Adopts Bitcoin as Official Currency

The Central African Republic announced on Wednesday that it adopted bitcoin as the official currency alongside the CFA franc.

Central African lawmakers established a legal and regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies and made bitcoin legal tender with the existing CFA franc. 

Obed Namsio, chief of staff of President Faustin-Archange Touadera, signed the bill governing the use of cryptocurrency in the Central African Republic on Tuesday.

The Central African Republic is one of the world’s poorest and least-developed countries and has been gripped by rebel violence for years despite rich quantities of diamonds, gold, and uranium.

CAR is one of six nations that use the CFA franc as its currency, like most other former French colonies in Africa.

Economist Yann Daworo told BBC Afrique that it would make life easier since transactions could be made through smartphones, and it was easy to convert Bitcoin to any other currency.

“Businessmen will no longer have to walk around with suitcases of CFA francs that will have to be converted into dollars or any other currency to make purchases abroad,” Daworo said.

However, computer scientist Sydney Tickaya said he thought the adoption of the cryptocurrency was ‘premature and “irresponsible’.

“Internet access is still underdeveloped in the country while Bitcoin depends entirely on the internet,” Tickaya said.

Tickaya added that CAR does not utilize CFA to benefit Africa because there are growing calls in several countries for the currency to be dropped by those who see it as a relic of the colonial era, enabling France to maintain economic control.

According to the WorldData website, the Central African Republic is massively lagging in the development of telecommunications, and only around 4% of all residents have access to the Internet.

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