March 16, 2020 The Zimbabwean central bank will start regulating cryptoassets amid a broader recognition of the industry’s future.

Zimbabwe’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), is preparing to launch a new framework outlining the regulation of cryptoasset service providers. In a speech on Friday, RBZ’s deputy director of financial markets, Josephat Mutepfa stated that the bank will be adopting a financial technology framework that will function as a regulatory sandbox. As part of this framework, companies will have to either “exist as a bonafide product” ready to enter the market or outline the steps required to reach this point, such as pursuing a microfinance license or partnering with a bank or mobile money service. According to local reporting, the bank now believes that the industry’s future is inevitable. The recent announcement stands in contrast to prior guidance and commentary from the central bank. In December 2017, the RBZ reminded citizens of the industry’s lack of regulation and in May 2018 issued a bank on banks facilitating payments for cryptoasset companies or trading in the asset class.