Passed in 2023, the Virtual Assets Act was Namibia’s first regulation to govern the oversight of Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) and all related activities.
The new law is aimed at ensuring the protection of consumers of virtual asset services, as well as preventing abuse and combating money laundering in the digital asset market. Namibian Minister of Finance and Public Enterprises Iipumbu Shiimi has announced the creation of a new regulatory body to oversee and license VASPs.
By law, VASPs that violate the Virtual Assets Act face fines of more than $670,000 and ten years in prison.
The Central Bank of Namibia (BoN) recalled its special position, according to which the regulator is categorically against the use of cryptocurrencies as a method of payment for any goods and services, and also does not recognize the status of legal tender for virtual assets.
The Central Bank of Namibia has repeatedly stated that it does not support the ownership and trading of digital assets, but is ready to make an exception for central bank digital currency (CBDC). Only it is able, according to officials, to become, unlike conventional cryptocurrencies, a safe, widely available and economical means of payment.
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