South Africa’s Central Bank Calls Crypto ‘Cyber-Tokens’, Not Currency

On the 24th May, Bloomberg reported that the South African Reserve Bank, the national bank of the Republic, has called digital currencies ‘’cyber tokens’’ simply because they “don’t meet the requirements of money.”

Francois Groepe, Reserve Bank Deputy Governor clarified the position of the bank:

“We don’t use the term “cryptocurrency” because it doesn’t meet the requirements of money in the economic sense of the stable means of exchange, a unit of measure and a stable unit of value. We prefer to use the word ‘cyber-token’.”

The Reserve Bank has built up a fintech team to audit its position toward private cryptocurrencies and address regulatory issues so as to build up a significant policy framework and regulatory system. Groepe stated:

“We want to ensure or establish whether there is still comply with the relevant financial surveillance or exchange-control regulations.”

National banks around the world moved toward cryptocurrencies with changing degrees of uncertainty and hesitation. In February, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney announced that Bitcoin can’t be seen as a legal currency “traditional” definitions since it neglected to meet two major requirements of a traditional currency. He claimed that Bitcoin is neither a method for trade nor a store of value.

Prior to this month, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) issued a circular ordering every single financial establishment to stop servicing cryptocurrency exchange and start to sell existing crypto-related accounts. Head of the RBZ Norman Mataruka explained the choice made saying that the RBZ has an “obligation to safeguard the integrity of payment systems” and the central bank isn’t set up to give such a protection to crypto.

In April, the Royal Bank of India issued a similar circular reporting that the bank will not give service to anybody dealing in cryptocurrency. The Indian Supreme Court has maintained the bank’s decision after the submission of petitions to have the ban lifted. The case will be heard again in July.


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