Zimbabwe’s Stock Exchange makes room for cryptocurrencies
In an apparent about-turn on policy governing cryptocurrencies, the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) has announced that it will open to list cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, as of 23 October 2020.
The ZSE stated that, subject to regulatory approval, cryptocurrencies will be listed on its foreign currency only listed bourse, Victoria Falls Stock Exchange (VFEX).
ZSE chief executive officer Justin Bgoni told ITWeb Africa this week that VFEX will be the best platform for this (cryptocurrencies) listing and the forex bourse has already obtained exchange control approval to trade in US dollars.
Zimbabwe’s cash- strapped government is banking on the VFEX to raise funds for local firms and according to authorities, a number of sponsors have shown interest in the forex bourse.
Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency traded in Zimbabwe. The VFEX will commence operating with three fungible counters namely: PPC, Old Mutual and Seed co International.
Bgoni confirmed that Seed co International’s securities will be listed on the VFEX on 25 October, 2020. He added that trading on the VFEX will be approximately 1.6% cheaper than on the ZSE.
The three companies were kicked out of the ZSE following allegations of speculative parallel foreign exchange rate in the country.
Zimbabwe’s government remains sceptical about cryptocurrencies.
Authorities argue that cryptocurrencies do not have legal tender status in the country and are not regulated. They claim virtual currencies – and digital transactions, can be used for a range of criminal acts, including money laundering, tax evasion and fraud.
In 2018, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe banned cryptocurrencies exchange company, BitFinance private limited from operating, accusing it of operating without a licence. The firm then proceeded with legal action and the ban was subsequently lifted.