The Central African Republic is under scrutiny by financial analysts, entrepreneurs and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), drawing comparisons to El Salvador’s bitcoin project.
Jacques Mandeng of the London School of Economics and Political Science said: “While bitcoin may facilitate some transactions, it is an odd choice to be a conventional means of payment. .”
“The adoption of Bitcoin as legal currency poses major legal, transparency, and economic policy challenges. IMF staff are assisting Central African Republic authorities in addressing concerns raised by the new law,” the IMF said on Wednesday.
The National Assembly of the Central African Republic has unanimously voted on legislation to legalize cryptocurrencies, introducing a regulatory framework in the hope that cryptocurrencies and digitalisation can boost the ailing economy.
The Central African Republic is one of the least developed economies globally due to armed conflict over the past decade.
Data from the World Bank shows that only 10% (557,000 out of 4.8 million) of Central Africa’s population has access to the Internet, while some have not even heard of cryptocurrencies.
“I don’t know what cryptocurrency is, I don’t even have internet,” said Joelle, a greengrocer.
However, Government spokesman Serge Ghislain Djorie said: “We will educate people and soon switch to fiber optic cable, a weak internet connection is also enough to buy cryptocurrency.”