Tanzania embraces cryptocurrency after President Samia urges for further research

Tanzania embraces cryptocurrency after President Samia Suluhu Hassan urged the country’s central bank to start looking into crypto assets on Monday. She highlighted the growing influence of digital assets on global finance, saying, “We have witnessed the emergence of a new journey through the internet.”

She also emphasized the lack of crypto adoption and development in the East African region, stating, “Throughout the region, including Tanzania, they have not accepted or started using these routes.”

Also read: A call for crypto regulations in Uganda by the Uganda Financial Intelligence Authority

Tanzania will now join a select group of governments eager to study the potential of cryptocurrencies rather than imposing restrictions on it as a result of this announcement. Because of the independence that cryptocurrencies provide from a central authority such as governments, there has been little acceptance of this form of currency, with most governments citing it as a threat, claiming that it allows people to commit crimes such as money laundering.

Tanzania embraces cryptocurrency making it the latest county to signal its support for digital assets as its president directed financial authorities to prepare for widespread usage of cryptocurrencies this weekend, significantly boosting bitcoin prices after El Salvador became the first country to make bitcoin legal tender last week.

Hassan is one of the most senior politicians to signal support for digital assets since El Salvador voted to adopt bitcoin as legal tender last week and helped give the flagging market a boost. The announcement helped bitcoin gain nearly 10% in 24 hours, nearly reaching $40,000 a token Monday morning.

The revelation that Tesla would resume its use of bitcoin once proof that the asset is produced using about 50% clean energy also boosted the token’s value.. 

While African legislators have been slow to recognize and encourage the crypto economy, the region has been a hotspot for peer-to-peer (P2P) Bitcoin trading for years.

According to Useful Tulips, Sub-Saharan African is the second-largest region for P2P trading behind North America, representing roughly $16.5 million in weekly volume. Citing growth in financial inclusion, this suggests a desire all over the continent to adopt more advancements in technology as Fintechs are seeking ways to incorporate cryptocurrency into their platforms.

Nigeria represents half of the region’s volume, ranking behind the United States as the second-largest nation by P2P Bitcoin trading, with $8.5 million in Bitcoin changing hands weekly. Kenya is Africa’s second-ranked peer-to-peer market with more than $3 million in weekly trade, followed by Ghana with $2 million, and South Africa with $1.6 million

Efforts by other African countries as Tanzania embraces cryptocurrency

There is growing popular support for bitcoin adoption in Nigeria that also gained momentum over the weekend. According to Forbes, Russell Okung, an NFL player of Nigerian descent, penned an open letter to the Nigerian president imploring the country to adopt a Bitcoin standard so as to avoid “falling behind.” Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey, one of the most high profile crypto enthusiasts, tweeted his support of the idea a number of times over the weekend. 

It should be noted that despite efforts by other parties to see that the West African country embraces digital currency on a wider scale, the government seemingly has other plans as it called for a ban on cryptocurrency earl this year through its Central Bank.

Read also: Nigeria’s Central Bank makes a shocking ban on cryptocurrency

Bitcoin’s trend in recent weeks

Early this year, Bitcoin hit all-time highs with record value along with the wider crypto market. However, it has seen some huge dips in recent weeks and is still recovering from the effects that rapidly wiped over $700 billion from the market’s value.

This slump was primarily induced by Tesla announcing it would no longer accept bitcoin due to environmental concerns and China cracking down on the assets. Support from the likes of El Salvador, alongside other countries and banks that may begin to adopt bitcoin or other cryptocurrency tokens, the market has slowly started to recover, though remains volatile.

Beyond Tanzania, lawmakers in a number of Latin American countries have expressed at least a casual interest in following El Salvador’s footsteps, including Brazil and Panama. 

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