Government is in the process of developing a law to look at virtual asset services or Crypto currency trading in the country, says the Financial Intelligence Center (FIC).
FIC Director for Compliance and Prevention, Diphat Tembo, said currently Zambia had no adequate laws which looks at trading in Crypto currency hence the need to urgently put it in place.
Tembo told Zambia Monitor in an exclusive interview that the practice was slowly growing and could be a source of money laundering hence the need to monitor all the activities using the law.
He said the country currently has three registered companies which are trading in Crypto Currency or Bitcoin and one of them is Yello Card.
“What has happened in the country is that the virtual asset service providers, such as people dealing in Crypto Currency, Bitcoin, we do not have a robust regulation to oversee the virtual asset service,” Tembo said.
He stated that the three registered companies had, however, been turned into reporting entities to the FIC as one way of monitoring and implementing anti-money laundering measures.
Tembo emphasized the needs to have a framework which the country can start using to monitor the entities from the time they begin to operate and registered at the Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA).
“There is a gap because when these institutions go to get registered at PACRA, they may say the are involved in payment system and PACRA will just look at their mandate and incorporate them,” he stated.
Tembo noted that the banking sector had a law where investors were required to be incorporated by PACRA and granted a licence before they can begin to operate.
He stated that criminals have become sophisticated and were now using the digital space to move the assets or money without detection.
“I am aware that the Anti-Money Laundering Authority (AMLA) which is the highest body is having discussions on how to deal with this issue of virtual asset service,” Tembo said.
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