An article published by Morocco’s Ministry of Finance recently declared that, “The Office des Changes wishes to inform the general public that the transactions via virtual currencies constitute an infringement of the exchange regulations, liable to penalties and fines provided for by [existing laws] in force.”
In regards to such happenings, Bellaj Badr, a blockchain consultant and the CTO of Mchain based out in Marrakech, the economic hub of Morocco exclaimed that, “although this decision comes as no surprise, I am very disappointed by this ban which harms the country’s image in Africa and worldwide.”
Government regulators of Morocco have already issued hardcore threats to cryptocurrency enthusiasts and bitcoin miners stating that:
“The Office des Changes exhorts the people concerned to comply with the provisions of the Exchange Regulations which stipulate that financial transactions with foreign countries must be made via authorized intermediaries and with foreign currencies listed by Bank Al-Maghrib.The Office des Changes in collaboration with Bank Al-Maghrib and the Professional Group of Banks of Morocco follow with interest the evolution of virtual currencies in Morocco.”
In relation to the same Mr Badr pointed out that,
“In fact, we are henceforth counted among the few countries which are illegalizing bitcoin and limiting people’s freedom.”
Reports published by Middle East Online suggested that Morocco was such a country, “where foreign exchange flows are tightly controlled,” and “Local media outlets have estimated that virtual payments worth around $200,000 (170,000 euros) pass through Morocco each day, although an exact figure is extremely difficult to verify. The announcement came a week after Moroccan digital services company MTDS said it would accept payment in bitcoin. MTDS said it was the first time the regulator had taken a clear position on bitcoin payments.” Karl Stanzik, the head of the company stated that the project was called off shortly following the press release in order to “comply with Moroccan law.” However he also warned saying that it would be “very difficult to control” a bitcoin ban given people increasingly joining the crypto bandwagon and stalwarts speaking up in favour of the same.
Mr. Badr agreed to the ban stating that:
“I think such decision is inculcated and nonconstructive, as it will not harm the growing adoption of bitcoin in Moroccan society but instead it will harm the ongoing innovative project aiming to harness the blockchain technology.”
However he predicted that, “I am confident that this decision will change with time when the authorities understand the benefits they can reap from these technologies.”
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Tarunima Ghosh Laha
Tarunima Ghosh Laha is a Finance Post Grad from St. Xaviers who believes Finance is more than just Balance Sheets and Ledger creation. This filmy bookworm who believes she was a sloth in past life also nourishes a penchant of owning a private zoo someday. Equipped with a laptop and online Lexicon she is all set to give finance a glamorous makeover in the form of exciting writeups with bang on info and flashy new words.
Source : Kryptomoney