Yaoundé - 09 June 2023 -

CAR’s Touadéra agrees to revise the law on Bitcoin

CAR’s Touadéra agrees to revise the law on Bitcoin
  • Comments   -   Monday, 20 March 2023 16:09

(Business in Cameroon) - The President of the Central African Republic, Faustin Archange Touadéra, has pledged to respect the rules governing the financial environment of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (Cemac) concerning cryptocurrencies. During the one-day Cemac Heads of State summit held last March 17 in Yaoundé, the leader reassured his peers he has no intention of leaving the community.

"Cryptocurrencies offer various financial opportunities and that’s what we are looking for. However, we have no intention of leaving the community. We will certainly continue to respect the rules,” said Faustin Archange Touadéra, who became the Cemac president during the Yaoundé summit. The leader was pressured by the other Cemac Heads of State, and mainly by Beac Governor Abbas Mahamat Tolli, an outspoken opponent of the adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender in CAR and the creation by the country of its cryptocurrency (Sango Coin).

"The Conference reaffirmed its commitment to the provisions of Article 6 of the Convention governing the Central African Monetary Union (Umac)," reads the final communiqué of the Yaoundé meeting, which cites Governor Abbas Mahamat Tolli's analysis of the impacts of crypto-currencies on Cemac economies.

A new law in the pipeline in CAR

According to the above-mentioned article, "the legal tender of the member states of the Union is the Central African Financial Cooperation Franc (CFA)”. This means that neither bitcoin nor Sango Coin should be legal tender in the Central African Republic (CAR). Although President Touadéra considers that "cryptocurrencies are new realities, which were not taken into account when these texts were formulated," he nevertheless announced that his country is "working to adjust the law on cryptocurrency”. A draft of the bill amending and supplementing certain provisions of the law of April 22, 2022, on cryptocurrency, was presented to the Ministerial Committee of Umac, on March 15 at the headquarters of the Beac in Yaoundé.

According to this text, the law on cryptocurrency should now merely govern "all transactions related to cryptocurrencies in the Central African Republic". The phrase "without restriction and with an unlimited power of issuance in all transactions and any capacity, carried out by natural or legal persons, public or private" has been removed. The definition of cryptocurrency itself has also been reviewed. The new draft proposes to remove the phrase "without the need for a central bank”.

The draft also suggests changing the obligation "to accept cryptocurrencies as a means of payment for the purchase and sale of a good or service," to free consent. Two articles on the "automatic and instantaneous" convertibility of cryptocurrencies into CFA have also been removed. Another was modified. In Article 5, instead of "the rate of exchange between cryptocurrencies and the currency used in the Central African Republic is freely determined by the market," the text proposes "the rate of exchange of cryptocurrencies is freely determined by the market."


The Ministerial Committee of Umac did not comment so far but executives of the bodies that deal with these issues continue to be concerned about some of the provisions proposed in the bill. Article 6 states that "all electronic transactions in the Central African Republic can be expressed in cryptocurrencies legally recognized and regulated by regulatory texts”. And an official in charge of monetary issues at the Beac believes this sounds like cryptos are accepted as legal tender in CAR. The creation of agencies to regulate electronic transactions and the management of ATMs also raises questions. For, these missions are already entrusted to sub-regional bodies such as the Financial Market Supervisory Commission (Cosumaf).

According to the current pattern, Cemac only wants to look at cryptos as simple financial assets. The new ministerial regulation governing the common financial market, which came into force on August 1, 2022, now accepts "digital assets" and "digital tokens" on the market. During the March 17 summit, the Cemac Heads of State encouraged Beac and other community regulators to continue developing the legal and regulatory framework in this dynamic. The Central African Republic's project should follow the same logic to comply with community texts.

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