EAST AFRICAN NATIONS MOVING CAUTIOUSONLY ON SINGLE CURRENCY FOR THE SUB-REGION

DAR-ES-SALAAM, Member nations of the East African Community (EAC) are moving with caution to adopting a regional single currency because of concerns linked to rge growing adoption of crypto-urrencies or digital designed currencies, including Bitcoin.

In translating its dream of a regional single currency into reality, the EAC partner States aim to harmonize monetary and fiscal policies, financial, payment and settlement systems. Other areas include the need to harmonize financial accounting and reporting standards; harmonize policies and standards on statistical information and establish an East African Central Bank.

The Tanzanian central bank management was axsked about the threat of growing use of digital currencies to the region's intention to have a single currency to be used across its six member nations -- Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan Rwanda and Burundi.

In response, the Bank of Tanzanian (BoT) Director of National Payment System, Bernard Dadi said the process leading to adoption of a single currency was still underway, albeit new challenges such as the growth of Bitcoin, one of the famous virtual currencies.

The objective of Bitcoin founders is quite different from that of Community Member States on establishing a single currency. As we've said, the process to have a single currency is still underway with consideration of available challenges including the growth of Bitcoin, Dadi responded.

The Central Bank of Kenya, said Dadi, had since warned the people over increasing adoption of the crypto-currencies, including Bitcoin. According to the BoT official, Uganda is another EAC member state which has warned its people against the use of Bitcoin.

Not just in Kenya South Africa, Swaziland, Namibia, Uganda and other African nations have since warned their people over Bitcoin, he added. Public warnings apart, the BoT has said it would soon issue a policy directive on the usage of the crypto-currency within Tanzania.

Prior to the issuing of highly anticipated policy directive, the official said that crypto-currency experts from UK have already conducted workshops for BoT management and senior staff on these currencies".

In addition, he said, the ongoing process covers approval of some recommendations resulting from workshops that covered Bank of Tanzania board members.

Climaxing in 2017, Bitcoin dropped sharply to 16,563 US dollars and then 12,191 close to Christmas Day, after having shot to as high as 19,000 USD on some exchange networks over the last quarter of last year. Data compiled by Bloomberg, an online platform that delivers business and markets news, data, analysis and video worldwide, shows that the Bitcoin dropped by almost 40 per cent.

According to the EAC website, co-operation in monetary and fiscal matters in order to establish monetary stability within the Community now aims at facilitating economic integration efforts and the attainment of sustainable economic development of the Community.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK