Bitcoin is growing popular throughout a few regions within the giant continent of Africa. One of these areas seeing bitcoin growth is the United Republic of Tanzania. Due to the rise in interest towards bitcoin from Tanzanian citizens the Bank of Tanzania governor, Benno Ndulu, expressed some concerns about the decentralized currency this week.
Bank of Tanzania Governor Benno Ndulu Has Noticed Bitcoin’s Rise in Tanzania
Currently, online searches for the decentralized cryptocurrency bitcoin are trending significantly within the Eastern and Southern African regions. There is significant interest in areas like Nigeria, Kenya, and Tanzania and these regions have a plethora of ways to obtain bitcoin. In Tanzania specifically, Localbitcoins volumes have risen exponentially since last Spring and the country’s central bank is beginning to take notice.
This week the governor of the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) Benno Ndulu told the country’s local newspaper, the Guardian, that Tanzanians should be aware of the risks associated with digital currencies.
“We know about cryptocurrencies, but as a government, we want to study it so we can understand it better,” Ndulu details. According to statements told to the Guardian, Ndulu explains that the BoT is not sure how it will approach unregulated digital currencies.
We are now working to see if we should allow it, regulate it or ban it. We are still studying the matter and looking at it very closely before taking any further measures.
Benno Ndulu: Tanzanians Are Putting Themselves at Risk
However, Ndulu did explain that citizens should be warned that Tanzanians involved with cryptocurrencies are doing so at their own risks. “We have also heard that there are some groups of people in the country engaging in the business, but my message, for now is that they should know they are putting themselves at risk,” Ndulu emphasizes.
If anything happens — No one will be there to help them.
As Far As What I Understand There is No Way to Stop It
This week news.Bitcoin.com spoke with a Tanzanian bitcoin enthusiast from the region, Raymond Makunja Mulegi, concerning his opinion of the central bank governor’s statements. Mr. Mulegi tells us that bitcoin adoption is just getting started in Tanzania, but personally, he is doing well utilizing the cryptocurrency. We asked Mr. Mulegi what he thought about the governor’s statements, and he told us;
As far as what I understand there is no way to stop it — It is going to revolutionize the finance industry and I think they are scared of it.
“We purchase bitcoins through P2P services like Localbitcoins or Remitano,” Mr. Mulegi adds. “Normally I usually wire money to Xapo, and I have a solid experience with that platform. There are others who used Bitpesa in the past, but they recently stopped trades in Tanzania due to a lot of people involved with scams.”
A Tool That Helps Pull a Large Population Out of Poverty
Mr. Mulegi says, unfortunately, there are a lot of scammers preying on citizens within the region and some phony crypto-business operations. He believes scams like these are probably the main reasons officials in the area see digital currencies in a negative light. However, Mr. Mulegi ultimately believes the central bank cannot stop bitcoin, and it will be a great tool to help his people rise from economic oppression.
“The fact that someone can send money at the click of a mouse across borders solidifies its value. This is what drew many Africans to bitcoin’s benefits in my opinion,” Mr. Mulegi concludes.
It’s something that will help pull a large population out of poverty more than anything else.
What do you think of the BOT governor’s opinion about bitcoin? What do you think about Mr. Mulegi’s statements? Do you agree with Mr. Mulegi that bitcoin cannot be stopped? Let us know in the comments below.
Images via Shutterstock, AFI, the Guardian, and Raymond Makunja Mulegi.