Namibia To Start Regulating Crypto And Digital Assets

Namibia has joined the ranks of other African nations in embracing cryptocurrencies and digital assets as it recently passed a bill in the National Assembly. The bill, approved by Namibia’s lower house of parliament on June 22, is aimed at regulating digital assets, cryptocurrencies, and virtual asset service providers (VASPs) operating within the country.

The legislation’s primary objective is to establish a comprehensive framework for licensing and regulating VASPs. It also seeks to designate a regulatory authority responsible for overseeing these providers and their activities.

The key goals of the bill include safeguarding consumer interests, preventing market manipulation, and mitigating the risks associated with money laundering, terrorism financing, and other illicit activities linked to digital asset markets.

The law also covers ancillary matters related to these objectives.

Reports from local media indicate that the bill is currently awaiting official publication before it can come into effect.


Iipumbu Shiimi, Namibia’s Minister of Finance and Public Enterprises, reportedly mentioned the creation of a regulatory body responsible for supervising VASPs and granting licenses to operate in the country.

Noncompliant providers could potentially face severe penalties, including fines of up to 10 million Namibian dollars ($671,572) and imprisonment for up to 10 years.

Namibia’s Bank

However, it is worth noting that the Bank of Namibia maintains its stance that cryptocurrencies do not possess legal tender status in the country.

Kazembire Zemburuka, the Bank of Namibia’s director of strategic communications and international relations, reiterated the bank’s position in the report.

Zemburuka indicated that the bank will evaluate the acceptance of virtual assets within the financial system once the associated risks, such as those related to innovation, are effectively managed.

In 2017, the Bank of Namibia expressed strong opposition to the use of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment for goods and services.

The bank stated that under its existing decades-old law, virtual currency exchanges had no place in the country.

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