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CAR’s crypto adoption upsets regional bloc’s monetary accord

By , Freelance Investigative Journalist

The Governor of the Bank of Central African States (BEAC), Abbas Mahamat Tolli, has issued a point of order to Central African Republic (CAR) following the country’s adoption of cryptocurrency as a legal tender on 22 April.

In a letter addressed to CAR’s Minister of Finance and Budget Herve Ndoba, Tolli said the move contravenes monetary cooperation accords within the membership-based Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC).

BEAC is the lone central bank for CEMAC countries comprising CAR, Cameroon, Chad, Gabon, Congo and Equatorial Guinea.

According to the Governor, the cryptocurrency adoption by CAR is problematic as it violates community provisions related to the regime of money issuance and monetary policy. “This law suggests that its main objective is to establish a Central African currency beyond the control of BEAC; likely to compete with or supplant the legal tender in use in CEMAC and jeopardise monetary stability.”

He added, “I would like to point out that the monetary union in force in CEMAC results from duly ratified international and community agreements, which are intended to take precedence over any contrary national law or internal legal provision.”

Last week the BEAC set up a working group to examine the implications of CAR's cryptocurrency adoption on the regulatory architecture in central Africa. Its findings have yet to be made public.

While calling on CAR to re-establish strict compliance, the BEAC Governor urged Minister Ndoba, in his capacity as Sitting Chairperson of the Ministerial Committee of Central African Monetary Union (CAMU) and Current Board Chair of BEAC, to call extraordinary board meetings of both structures.

The meetings are to examine the numerous implications of the recent adoption of cryptocurrency on monetary cooperation accords especially the convention governing CAMU and BEAC statutes.

CAR’s crypto move, which bypasses BEAC exchange controls, will have a bearing on the five other member states of CEMAC as citizens in those countries will be able to convert their Francs CFA to Bitcoin and then to other currencies.

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