Is the Zimbabwean Central Bank Finally Warming Up To Cryptocurrencies?

Farai Mudzingwa Avatar
RBZ Building entrance

In a surprising turn of events, it seems the RBZ is finally warming up to cryptos.  It took the President appointing a new Minister of Finance and said Minister of Finance stating his affinity for cryptos, but here we are.

Mangudya was one of the officials who recently travelled to the US and during a Bloomberg interview he was asked “What role do you think the cryptocurrency could have at the central bank?” to which he replied:

Ah! I’m on record of saying that Zimbabwe is not new to cryptocurrencies. Basically, it’s an electronic dollar… electronic money. Our RTGS’ that we have got in Zimbabwe are basically electronic money, which is akin or similar to a cryptocurrencies so we are only using those as a nature but otherwise we are studying them as the central bank.

… I’m not entirely sure what that quote means but as many thought; the Central bank is not well versed with cryptocurrencies. To say that cryptos are similar to RTGS’ is quite baffling and it begs the question has the RBZ really shifted their stance or was Mangudya playing the role of the dancing monkey to please foreigners?

Well, a few things could be happening here…

RBZ really changing their stance

At the end of the interview, Mangudya stated that the RBZ’s Fintech group was studying crypto’s. Now, this could be a very real thing but it’s a bit strange when you consider that the central bank categorically stated that cryptocurrencies are not welcome in Zimbabwe. The RBZ made it clear that cryptos were endangering the public. Of course, this was months ago and things change but considering that the RBZ is in an ongoing legal battle with Golix (Zimbabwe’s largest -and only- cryptocurrency exchange) they don’t seem to be portraying a pro-crypto stance. It would be unfair to speak of all this and not mention that the RBZ has always had a soft spot for the blockchain. They like the blockchain, what they have a problem with are the cryptos not the tech behind them…

RBZ playing to the tune of Mthuli Ncube

Chinamasa was the previous Finance Minister and (with all due respect) it’s safe to assume the guy wasn’t too knowledgeable about cryptos either. This put Mangudya in a perfect position to rebuke the digital currencies and take the stance that the RBZ took back in April.

Things have changed a bit over the past few weeks… The President announced a new cabinet and with that came a new Finance Minister; Mthuli Ncube.

Mthuli Ncube seems to have some positive perceptions when it comes to cryptos. He urged the RBZ to take up people knowledgeable in the sector and create regulation for cryptos. This puts Mangudya and his bank in a bit of a weird place. After vehemently denouncing cryptos, they now have a new senior who seems to be very interested in cryptos… Keeping the RBZ’s stance could be suicide for Mangudya and thus the RBZ has to act as if they have been fans of crypto’s all along and start embracing them going forward.

RBZ = the dancing monkey

Mangudya could have been trying to appear as the cool kid who keeps up with the times when he was faced with the question of cryptos. In a bid to look as if he understands cryptos and current trends, Mangudya went on record and acted as if the RBZ has always been of the belief that cryptos are great when the opposite is true. The problem with this is that if the RBZ really did believe they were “protecting the public” when they banned cryptos, then there should be no reason for him to go abroad and act as if cryptos are good. The response given to Bloomberg is an indicator of what we feared; the RBZ banned something they didn’t fully understand and now they have to go outside the country and contradict themselves when the truth is on record because, well, the internet never forgets…


  1. Cryptonash

    RBZ is now a confused cockroach that have been DOOMED!
    #Cryptocurrency #Blockchain #Airwire

  2. Langa

    What’s the end game for Bitcoin (Cryptos)
    Bitcoin vision in 2030

    Ok say Bitcoin/ or other cryptos achieve being the dominant global currency and becomes the most valuable currency with no inflation risk, Is it wise to spend your savings to buy the coin at such inflated price. I mean $6000usd a coin for Bitcoin in particular. That’s very steep even for futuristic investment.

    What economic pressures are used to evaluate its future value besides the expectation that more and more people are lured into owning it. After that, what then, what becomes of it as a long term investment?

    Basically I don’t see how Cryptos can be a fair comparison to a chance of investing in great human leadership and companies already built on firm foundations to just a promise of a better tomorrow “sounds more politically inclined to me, shameful propaganda to lure crowds to participate in their attempt to commercialize their coinage at a very high risk to the collaborators.

    Say the coin eventually becomes the currency to be identified with, that’s still no better investment for me. I would rather use the USD to buy and own valuable shares bought at a fair price and then when its fully established that Bitcoin is now the Santa Maria of currencies and all other currencies to be then discarded as inferior “hopefully” I will then sell my shares once bought buy USD at a fair price to an exchange for Bitcoin.

    This will not only be killing two birds with one stone but to me it seems like reducing risks of loosing ones precious hard earned savings and still be alive to benefit even better regardless of how events will turn. If Bitcoin wins, you own something worth to exchange for Bitcoin, if Bitcoin becomes the other manhatten project (a success to demise the world) you are not part of it at the same time your head is above the water- opportunity cost*

    If Bitcoin is what you want and convinced its a valuable future investment then atleast buy it at a very fair price. How you calculate and discount if its at fair price or dear is what will give rise to the new post modern captain Kirks, Crunch and Kangaroo of the industry.

    The Prestige Group Network

    1. Farai Mudzingwa

      The long-term vision of cryptos is not yet clear, but I also think the days of owning cryptos for speculation’s sake are now behind us. I think the focus is now shifting to utility instead of speculation

  3. Hazvina

    Cryptos should be abandoned for the same rwason thay the gold standard was abandoned: they provide no way to manage the money supply in the light of economic conditions.
    RBZ doesn’t like cryptos for a different reason. RBz doesn’t like the fact that cryptos allow people to get money across borders without going through the
    IT techies and our new Finance Minister like crypyos coz such people tend to be very brainy but impractical and don’t understand economics.

  4. B

    The RBZ did what they are supposed to do, you don’t approve a technology you don’t understand nor have the capacity to regulate.There are investors that have lost big time on cryptos, and the internet has details of those too, so caution is still very much required even as they try to catch up. However my interactions with them has shown they are not averse to Blockchain, just cryptos and with good reason.

    1. Farai Mudzingwa

      True but why not give ordinary citizens the time to get their funds out? As always the “normal” person suffers most… Golix is going on as if things are normal- moving into other territories, RBZ it’s business as usual but for the normal guy… Well, no one gives a damn about the normal guy hey.

  5. Worried

    Crypto most certainly have a social marketing aspect… Whether you admit it or not … If you own it you automatically up sell it to creat demand…rbz did what they had to do…. Wait and see it better especially if you don’t understand… And let’s be honest even our ex biggest coin exchange openly was used to transfer money bypassing rbz protocols… Yes it was cheaper and helped us but it was only a matter of time… They should have registered as a transfer agency but they lacked the foresight because they wanted to cream it bypassing rbz… Now we all lost… They even tried to use litigation instead of coming to a compromise

    1. Farai Mudzingwa

      I like that you said “we all lost”… if the action taken by RBZ was indeed to protect the public why not ensure that Golix is given a grace period to ensure that ordinary citizens who had funds in/with the exchange get a chance to get their money back before blowing everything up?