The Minister of Finance in Zimbabwe has made calls for the country to work towards integrating digital currency solutions in the remittances sector. Mthuli Ncube said he had witnessed the transformational power of digital currencies after a visit to Dubai and believes Zimbabwe could greatly benefit.
Zimbabwe, like many other African countries, benefits greatly from remittances. However, the fees paid by those seeking to remit money back home are remarkably high. As per World Bank data, the Zimbabwean diaspora pays up to $90 million annually in remittance fees.
Ncube believes this is a field that digital currencies can revolutionize. He said he visited the DMCC Crypto Valley in Dubai where he was inspired by the digital currency revolution.
“I visited the DMCC CRYPTO CENTER in Dubai which is a fascinating incubation center for cryptocurrency and payment solutions. I came across some solutions that could lower fees for diaspora remittances,” he remarked, as Title Press reports.
The DMCC Crypto Valley launched two years ago with the aim of fostering the growth of blockchain and digital currency adoption. It offers training, incubation, and funding to DLT startups and is the product of a partnership between the government of Dubai and CV VC, a blockchain venture capital firm.
The finance minister has long been a digital currency enthusiast. A few years back, he urged the citizens to “invest in understanding emerging innovations like Bitcoin.” He also asked the authorities in the Southern African nation to emulate countries like Switzerland that “invest and understand Bitcoin.”
The Zimbabwean digital currency community welcomed the latest endorsement by the government official. However, some called out the minister for praising foreign digital currency projects while tens of local startups were solving challenges such as high remittance fees using digital currencies.
Victor Mapunga, CEO of Flexfintx, said, “We already have blockchain and crypto companies in Zimbabwe, such as Flexfintx, working with local players.”
Despite the rise in digital currency adoption in Zimbabwe, there are some who believe that it’s just a stopgap solution, and the challenge lies deeper. Jopa Sayeyo, a member of the country’s Senate, remarked, “When the banks stop manipulating the exchange rate, then maybe the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe [RBZ] may consider cryptocurrency. Otherwise it will lead to a massive crash of the ZWL [Zimdollar].”
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