Adopting Bitcoin as legal tender won’t fix Africa’s economic problems: IMF

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has cautioned against the growing adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender by countries.

Abebe Selassie, director of IMF’s African department, spoke on Thursday at a media briefing on the organisation’s economic outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa.

He said Bitcoin cannot be considered as a remedy for the economic troubles of African countries.

His comment comes a day after the Central African Republic became the first country in Africa and second in the world after El Salvador to adopt bitcoin as a legal tender.

Obed Namsio, chief of staff to President Faustin Archange Touadera, had said the move “places the Central African Republic on the map of the world’s boldest and most visionary countries.”

According to the World Bank, the Central African Republic is a sparsely populated country of 5.4 million inhabitants. It is one of the poorest and most fragile countries despite its natural resources.

But speaking with journalists, Selassie criticised the move, saying, “it’s really important to not see such things as a panacea for economic challenges our countries face”.

“You have to make sure that the legislative framework, in terms of the transparency of financial flows, the governance framework around it is all robustly in place.”

In January, the IMF had urged El Salvador to remove Bitcoin as legal tender.

On Thursday, Bitcoin appreciated 1.96 per cent to about $39, 782, according to data from coinmarketcap.com.

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