The Harare High Court has lifted a ban imposed by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), the country’s central bank, on the trading of cryptocurrencies.
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe did not appear before the court following a case filed by a Zimbabwe crypto trading exchange Golix that went to the high court to seek a reversal of an earlier ban by the bank on all cryptocurrency trades.
Golix had applied to the High Court asking it to reverse the ban announced by the central bank earlier this month. The RBZ had also prohibited banks from processing cryptocurrency transactions.
“The boycott was lifted,” Nhlalwenhle Ngwenya, interchanges director at Golix told CCN on Thursday evening.
However, observers have noted that officials of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe did not show up at the High Court for the hearing. Many see this as the reason that prompted the court in Harare to issue a default decision that basically lifted the ban earlier placed by the RBZ on trading in cryptocurrencies.
“We are hoping that we can immediately go back to doing business and processing orders,” said an official of Golix.
Golix had closed its order book on Thursday as it looked to manage the interruption to its activities after the central bank’s ban; this according to a notice it sent to individual investors Thursday morning.
The latest news has been welcomed with much relief by Bitcoin and other crypto investors in the southern African country. Golix runs an online crypto trade platform as a well as a bitcoin ATM in the capital Harare.
“Where is the gathering,” broadcasted one trader on Telegram as news of the lifting of the boycott spread. “RBZ prohibition on cryptos lifted by the High Court.” “Managerial equity is fit as a fiddle in this purview.” “Segment 68 of the Constitution is our closest companion,” tweeted legal advisor, Fadzai Mahere.
In its application against the RBZ position, Golix said the ban was unlawful as it had no legal basis.
“The Respondents are in fact purporting to classify the trade in cryptocurrency as illegal,” the Golix filing stated.
The respondents referred were the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and its representative, John Mangudya.
Golix additionally contends in its court application that the choice taken by RBZ to prohibit it from dealing in cryptocurrencies was in effect “lawmaking, a capacity that has a place with the parliament” and not the national bank.
In the wake of the ban on banks from processing cryptocurrency transactions countrywide, RBZ wrote to Golix a week ago directing it to close down its activities.
“All cryptocurrency exchange houses operating in the country, including Bitfinance (Private) Limited (also known as Golix), are required to cease all virtual currency exchange operations,” said the bank in a letter to the exchange dated May 15th.