Virtual Assets Regulation Within The CEMAC Zone

The Financial Market Regulator of CEMAC Member States (Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea, Gabon, and Congo Brazzaville) has prohibited Banks, Microfinance Institutions, and Payment Service Providers from facilitating transactions in cryptocurrency. The following key points should be noted from the decision:


🔸Prohibition on Holding and Subscribing to Cryptocurrencies: Reporting institutions (banks, microfinance institutions, and payment service providers) and their technical partners are not authorized to subscribe to or hold cryptocurrencies or virtual currencies of any kind for themselves or on behalf of third parties.


🔸Prohibition on Cryptocurrency-Related Transactions: Reporting institutions and their technical partners are prohibited from exchanging, converting, settling, or hedging in foreign currency or CFA francs transactions related to cryptocurrencies or having a link with them.


🔸Cryptocurrencies as a Means of Valuation: The treatment of cryptocurrency or cryptoassets as a means of valuation of assets, liabilities, or off-balance sheet items of reporting institutions is prohibited.


🔸Acceptable Currency for Accounts: Pursuant to the provisions on the Chart of Accounts for credit and microfinance institutions, the CFA franc shall be the only acceptable currency for accounts kept by reporting institutions. Other foreign currency accounts are kept exclusively in the conventional currencies issued by central banks.


🔸Identification and Reporting of Cryptocurrency Transactions: Reporting institutions are required to identify transactions carried out or rejected in connection with cryptocurrencies, including the ordering client, beneficiaries, amounts, the currency of the transaction, the consideration in cryptocurrency, and the purpose of the transaction. A detailed monthly report of these transactions must be communicated to the Secretariat General of COBAC and the Central Bank.


🔸Implementation of Measures to Identify Cryptocurrency Transactions: Reporting institutions are required to take all appropriate measures and implement procedures, as well as internal control measures, for their information systems to be able to identify at any time transactions related to cryptocurrencies so as to implement the measures taken by the regulatory and supervisory authorities and the Central Bank.


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