Zimbabwe central bank shuts down mobile cash. Time for Bitcoin?
Zimbabwe’s economy has been in the gutter for over a decade now, and the latest move by the country’s central bank could worsen the situation. As reported by local tech news outlet TechZim, the Zimbabwean central bank has decided to ban mobile cash. This payment option was one of the most popular, but according to the regulator, it has become a haven for illegal activities. Is it time the citizens took to Bitcoin to replace the ailing monetary system? It certainly looks like it is.
BREAKING: The @ReserveBankZIM has banned all cash in, cash out and cash-back facilities with immediate effect.@GNyambabvu @ZimTreasury @czionline @tarie_mufundisi @EcoCashZW @OneMoneyZw @TelecashZim pic.twitter.com/3qj4aJgW2E
— ZBC News Online (@ZBCNewsonline) September 30, 2019
In its directive, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe stated that it believed mobile cash was facilitating criminal activities. It stated, “It has come to the attention of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe that some economic agents are engaging in illegal activities abusing the cash-in, cash-out and cash-back facilities thereby compromising the public interest objectives of national payment systems in the economy.”
The RBZ revealed that some of the notable activities that mobile cash was facilitating include ‘the buying and selling of cash through mobile money agents at high rates above the approved charges for cash-in and cash-out with some economic agents’ and ‘not banking cash sales under the disguise of cash-back services.’
The directive ordered all mobile payment system providers and merchants to discontinue mobile payment services with immediate effect.
The ban on the popular payment method isn’t the first time that the government of Zimbabwe has acted in an irrational manner. Just a few months ago, it banned the use of foreign currencies without notice. With the country’s inflation numbers having hit record highs years prior, the country had chosen to abandon its own currency which had lost its value and instead rely on the U.S. dollar, the sterling pound and a few other global currencies for day-to-day transactions.
However, the government recently decided to ban the use of these currencies, causing uproar from the citizens.
What the government of Zimbabwe has failed to realize is how easily it can solve its currency and payment issues by turning to Bitcoin. With a finite supply that’s determined by algorithms, Bitcoin ensures that the issue of inflation can’t arise. Moreover, unlike with mobile payment systems which the government has accused of facilitating illegal acitivities, the Bitcoin public blockchain allows the authorities to easily keep track of the transactions and crack down on any illegal uses.
Bitcoin SV, which has continued to champion the original vision of Satoshi Nakamoto, is extremely fast and with its very low charges, it’s the best solution for day-to-day payments. With the number of BSV users rising by the day globally, the people of Zimbabwe would also have an international payment method which is accepted globally.