By Akinwande Soji-Ojo
Central African Republic (CAR) has adopted Bitcoin as legal tender, making it the first country in Africa to do so and the second in the world, after El Salvador.
In a statement on Wednesday, Obed Namsio, Chief of Staff to President Faustin Archange Touadera, confirmed that the president had signed a bill into law to make Bitcoin a legal tender alongside the CFA franc.
Namsio said lawmakers had unanimously passed the bill, which would make the cryptocurrency legal tender in the country.
The country’s Minister of Finance and Budget, Herve Ndoba, and Minister of Digital Economy, Postal Services, and Telecommunications,Gourna Zacko, initiated and introduced the legislation establishing the legal framework for cryptocurrency regulation in Central African Republic, as well as Bitcoin as an official currency.
“This move places the Central African Republic on the map of the world’s boldest and most visionary countries,” Namsio said.
Last week, Ndoba, told Bloomberg that there’s a common narrative that sub-Saharan African countries are often one step behind when it comes to adapting to new technology.
“This time, we can actually say that our country is one step ahead,” Ndoba was quoted as saying
According to the World Bank, the Central African Republic is a sparsely populated country, with 5.4 million inhabitants. It is one of the poorest and most fragile countries despite its natural resources.
In Nigeria, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had consistently warned citizens over trading in cryptocurrency and issued a directive to banks to close accounts of persons or entities involved in cryptocurrency transactions.