Author: Gan Jia Ci
South Africa’s central bank, South African Reserve Bank, referred to cryptocurrencies as “cyber-tokens” whilst refusing to acknowledge them as currencies. They stated that the digital currencies “don’t meet the requirements of money”, Bloomberg reports.
The Reserve Bank Deputy Governor Francois Groepe explained on Thursday,
“We don’t use the term ‘cryptocurrency’ because it doesn’t meet the requirements of money in the economic sense of the stable means of exchange, a unit of measure and a stable unit of value.”
“We prefer to use the word ‘cyber-token’,” he added.
With the increasing popularity of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, countries are struggling to keep up with regulating them. The Reserve Bank has established a fintech team to address its view on private cryptocurrencies and help develop a fitting policy model and regulatory system.
Groepe stated, “We want to ensure or establish whether there is still compliance with the relevant financial surveillance or exchange-control regulations.”
South African Reserve Bank is not the only central bank that maintains a tepid stance towards cryptocurrencies.
In April, the Royal Bank of India also announced that the bank will not service any individuals engaged in cryptocurrencies. In January, Nigerian Governor Godwin Emefiele also agreed that Bitcoin investing is a “gamble”. The Bank for International Settlements General Manager Agustin Carstens also told a German news media Boersen-Zeitung that he regards cryptocurrencies as “crypto-assets”.