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Five days since the Zimbabwe central bank issued a circular prohibiting banks from processing transactions linked to cryptocurrencies, crypto exchange Golix today informed Zimbabwean customers that they would not be able to use the exchange to draw currency like US dollars or Euros.
In a blog post addressed to its customers today, Golix said “unless the central bank changes its position prior to the expiry of the 60-day window, you will not be able to send or receive fiat currencies for cryptocurrency trades”.
It follows the launch last month by the Harare-based exchange launched of the country’s first Bitcoin ATM. As of Q4 2017, the startup had a trading volume of over $5-million, and had generated over $158 000 in revenue.
On Monday Golix announced that it had launched the GLX Token, through which it aims to raise $32-million. The token sale will end on 6 July and will be listed on Golix’s platform for trading on 27 July. In the token sale whitepaper, Golix notes that as part of a roadmap the company would be incorporated in Mauritius this month.
Earlier today Golix communications director Nhlalwenhle Ngwenya told Ventureburn that the company had not received any communication around the directive from any of the country’s banks.
Golix launched its GTX token sale this Monday, the sale is set to raise $32-million
“(The) RBZ sent a directive to banks. Of which I believe if the banks within the 60 days decide to stop business with us, they will communicate,” Ngwenya said.
Ventureburn contacted the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) on Monday to enquire whether the use of cryptocurrencies in Zimbabwe is legal or not and whether it is working on regulations on cryptocurrency trading or not.
A communication official at the central bank, Alson Mfiri, confirmed receipt of the email. However, the RBZ had not responded to the questions by time of publication.
Among other things the circular issued last Friday (11 May) by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s (RBZ) registrar of banking institutions Norman Mataruka states that “In order to safeguard the integrity, safety and soundness of the country’s financial system, and to protect the public in general, all financial institutions are hereby required to ensure that they do not use, trade, hold and or transact in any way in virtual currencies.”
The circular also states that banks must ensure that they do not provide banking services to facilitate any person or entity in dealing with or settling virtual currencies and that they must exit any existing relationships with virtual currency exchanges within 60 days of the date of the circular and “proceed to liquidate and restitute existing account balances”.