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Is Zimbabwe Considering Crypto?

When Mthuli Ncube was appointed Zimbabwe’s finance minister in September 2018, the country’s crypto enthusiasts hoped he would walk back some of the restrictions imposed on cryptocurrency trading. The truly optimistic hoped he would become a champion of digital currencies. A year before Ncube’s appointment, Zimbabwe’s central bank ordered all banks to stop processing transactions involving cryptocurrencies, calling the likes of Bitcoin and other altcoins “the currency of choice for money launders and other criminals”. “I visited the DMCC Crypto Centre in Dubai, which is a fascinating incubation hub for crypto currency and payment solutions,” Ncube tweeted during his visit to the United Arab Emirates last week. “Came across solutions that could lower charges for diaspora remittances.” Many crypto supporters see Ncube’s tweet as a signal that Zimbabwe’s government – like the governments of other countries – is simply attempting to cherry-pick some of the benefits of blockchain technology without ceding monetary control.