Tunisia’s Economy Minister says He’s Going to Decriminalize Buying Bitcoin
The latest country working on changing its rules and regulations around cryptocurrencies is Tunisia which plans to decriminalize owning Bitcoin and crypto. Tunisia’s minister of economy said over the weekend that he wants to change the law around cryptocurrencies which condemns people for mining cryptos and using them as payment. He said,
“I will change the law, we cannot put a Tunisian young man in prison for buying Bitcoin.”
Back in 2020, Marouane Abassi, Governor of the Central Bank of Tunisia, said that “we must follow” Bitcoin and the technology and prepare for effective monitoring of its use cases. A year before that, Tunisia, along with Afghanistan, was looking to issue bitcoin-based bonds to help save their ravaged economies. At the time, Marouane said the country had created a special group to explore functionalities of a sovereign Bitcoin bond and that crypto and blockchain offers.
“central banks an efficient tool to combat money-laundering, manage remittances, fight cross-border terrorism and limit grey economies.”
The same year, in 2019, Tunisia became the first African country to move its national currency to a blockchain platform with the help of the universal contracting platform, Monetas. “eDinar” can be used to make money transfers, pay for utility bills, and manage official government identification documents, which is also available to transfer between citizens at shops, cafes, and restaurants amidst the central bank’s plans to integrate it in cross-border payments and circumvent the need for US dollars. Tunisia is currently in discussion with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) regarding a new program focused on the size of the loan as talks continue on reforms for the country’s troubled economy. It is discussing phasing out subsidies as Tunisia is considering the gradual removal of subsidies on food, electricity, and natural gas by 2024. Now, finally, the country may take some constructive steps towards cryptocurrencies as more and more countries announce their support for crypto. El Salvador is one such crypto-friendly country that is all set to make Bitcoin legal tender and use volcanic geothermal energy to mine the cryptocurrency. “The President of the Central American Bank (BCIE), a bank with 13.5 billion dollars in assets, supports our Bitcoin Law,” tweeted President Nayib Bukele over the weekend after the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (BCIE) said they would hold a press conference this week to talk about their approval of El Salvador’s support for Bitcoin. Elsewhere, think tank Lobby New Zealand has sent a letter to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern “asking that the New Zealand Government recognize Bitcoin as a foreign currency in eighty-six days when Bitcoin becomes legal tender in El Salvador.”
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