With the recent extraordinary surge in the uptake of cryptocurrency globally, even the smaller economies are choosing to play ball. And the East African Island of Zanzibar which is a popular tourist destination is among the few of such countries.
By showing its revolutionary side, the government is reportedly choosing to explore the viability of cryptocurrency for use in its transactions.
While speaking to a local media outlet, Zanzibar’s Minister of State, said that plans to meet with stakeholders regarding this matter were already in place.
“We are seeking views on the matter before deciding whether it is viable or not,” he said.
This news comes after Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu Hassan urged the central bank to explore Bitcoin in June.
Crypto Dawn in Zanzibar
In an interview with The Citizen, Mudrick Soraga revealed that his government was keen on adopting and regulating crypto. But first, a meeting with financial stakeholders was in order.
“We are seeking views on the matter before deciding whether it is viable or not. You cannot make such a decision without getting input from stakeholders, including banks and the ministries of Finance and Foreign Affairs.” he said.
The crucial meeting is will take place in the third week of November.
According to the reports, Mr. Soraga had already met with Mr. Joe Chuene, a representative of Hypertech Company, to discuss how best the island nation could adopt cryptocurrencies.
Mr. Joe Chuene highly recommended that the government of Zanzibar recognize and consider the use of digital assets for transactions. Noting that Bitcoin alone had a current transaction volume of $3.2 trillion.
“The high-on chain transaction volume of the dominant cryptocurrency has demonstrated the efficiency of the asset. It is high time the revolutionary government of Zanzibar adopted it,” he recommended.
Mr. Chuene’s recommendation also reaffirms the words of Tanzania Bankers Association (TBA) chairman Abdulmajid Nsekela who said that the global disruption about to be caused by cryptocurrency would be inevitable.
Importance of Consultation
It is fundamentally important to understand that the government of Zanzibar exists in collaboration with the government of the mainland, Tanzania. It, therefore, cannot decide to adopt cryptocurrency independent of Tanzania’s government.
Haji Semboja, a professor at the State University of Zanzibar’s Economics Department, is also endorsing the government’s decision to engage stakeholders first. However, he notes that since finance is a critical issue, the Zanzibar government must liaise with the Tanzanian government through the Bank of Tanzania.
Sandra Chogo, the author of the book ‘Jielimishe Kuhusu Blockchain,’ also notes the importance of defining the status of a cryptocurrency first. She also adds that this implementation will push the government develop regulations and the body to regulate cryptocurrencies.
According to financial reports, the African continent has amassed approximately 105.6 billion worth of cryptocurrencies as of June 30, 2021. With Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, and Tanzania are the leading contributors to these figures.