Morocco’s Central Bank Announces Completion of Bill to Regulate Use of Cryptocurrencies

The Governor of Morocco’s Central Bank (Bank Al-Maghrib) has announced that legislation for the use of cryptocurrencies in Morocco is now complete.

During a press conference following the fourth and final quarterly meeting of Morocco’s Central Bank (BAM) for 2022, the Governor, Abdellatif Jouahri, emphasized that the draft for a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies is now ready.

“For cryptocurrencies, I can assure you that the project is ready,” he said. “We worked with the World Bank and the consultant to make it happen. The different chapters are now complete, and discussions with different stakeholders are taking place. It is long, but necessary to allow everyone to adhere to this project.”

“Discussions are to be held with all stakeholders, including the Moroccan Capital Markets Authority (AMMC) and the Insurance and Social Security Supervisory Authority (ACAPS). We proceeded to a specific definition of the cryptocurrency and prepared a general public survey that details the specifics and use of this virtual currency in Morocco,” added the BAM Chief.

According to the Governor, the draft legislation for regulating cryptocurrencies in Morocco provides a definition that is tailored to the Moroccan context and is not intended to inhibit innovation, but rather to protect individuals from the risks associated with investing in the highly speculative market.

It is important to note that trading and holding cryptocurrencies are currently illegal in Morocco, and the country’s financial regulators did not recognize digital assets until 2017 when a nationwide ban on crypto was implemented.

The Central Bank of Morocco (BAM), the Ministry of Economy and Finance, and the AMMC (Financial Market Authority) have emphasized the risks associated with using virtual currencies, including a lack of consumer protection, the volatility of the exchange rate of these currencies compared to a recognized legal tender, and the use of these currencies for illegal or criminal activities such as money laundering and terrorist financing.

However, despite these warnings, the popularity of cryptocurrencies has continued to increase in Morocco, with the country becoming one of the fastest-growing crypto markets in Northern Africa. According to moroccoworldnews, the number of cryptocurrency holders in Morocco reached 1.5 million in 2022.

Earlier this year, the Central Bank of Morocco revealed that it was in talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, and other international partners to develop a regulatory framework for the cryptocurrency market, recognizing the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies in the country.

With this is mind, one can say that crypto assets, like Bitcoin, have been around for years but regulators have resisted jumping in to write new rules. However, the implosion at FTX, which left an estimated one million creditors facing losses amounting to billions of dollars, has already pushed regulators to take on this mission.

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