The Central African Republic adopts Bitcoin as legal currency

What 

The Central African Republic has adopted Bitcoin as legal currency, only the second country in the world to do so after El Salvador

Why 

“The president supports this bill because it will improve the conditions of Central African citizens,” the Chief of Staff Obed Namsio told Reuters

What next 

The adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender implies that the people of CAR can use Bitcoin, alongside the CFA franc, for daily transactions. 

The story 

A bill governing the use of Bitcoin as legal tender was adopted unanimously by parliament last week, said a statement signed by Obed Namsio, chief of staff of President Faustin-Archange Touadera. 

Following some uncertainty about whether or not the bill included the adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender, the Presidency made an official announcement yesterday confirming Bitcoin as legal currency in the Central African Republic. 

Last week, CAR Finance Minister Herve Ndoba announced the creation of a legal framework for cryptocurrency, explaining that the framework would not follow the same as set out in El Salvador. 

In the official statement announcing the final decision, Namsio called it “a decisive step toward opening up new opportunities for our country.” The Central African Republic “is the first country in Africa to adopt bitcoin as legal tender,” Namsio said. “This move places the Central African Republic on the map of the world’s boldest and most visionary countries.”

The CAR, one of the poorest nations in the world, shares the CFA franc as legal tender with six other African countries. The regional currency is governed by the Bank of Central African States (BEAC), which is yet to comment on the decision. “The BEAC learned at the same time as the public of the enactment of a new law on cryptocurrency in the Central African Republic,” a BEAC spokesperson told Reuters.

Two former CAR prime ministers have expressed concern over the sudden move, which was made without guidance from the BEAC, calling it a “serious offence”. 

Read more about Bitcoin and how cryptocurrency works, in our learning portal, here.

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