Morocco has joined a growing list of countries pivoting towards drafting and passing comprehensive cryptocurrency laws, even as the adoption rate of digital assets in the North African country continues to surge.
According to a report by Moroccan News Agency MAP, the country’s central bank, Bank Al-Maghrib (BAM) is in an advanced stage of patching together drafts that will form a comprehensive cryptocurrency statute for the country. BAM’s governor Abdellatif Jouahri reportedly said that they had formed a committee that was “working to put in place an appropriate regulatory framework to combine innovation, technology, and consumer protection.”
In addition, he stated that they were in discussions with international financial institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank to iron out specific benchmarks on the crypto regulation. In March, Jouahri had stated that they were also “engaging with the central banks of friendly nations such as Switzerland and France to learn from their expertise and experience.”
In the latest report, he went on to point out money laundering and terrorism financing as the major pain points to the economy noting that the “regulatory framework will also update the legislation on the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.”
This is not the first time the government’s attention to cryptocurrencies has been drawn. Despite Morroco banning Bitcoin trading in 2017 and issuing multiple warnings over the use of virtual currencies due to the lack of consumer protection, wild volatility, and their use for illicit purposes, the level of adoption for crypto assets has nevertheless continued to soar.
According to Triple-A, a Bruneian crypto payments company, 2.38% of the Morrocan population use or own cryptocurrencies today. In a separate report, the firm noted that Morocco was leading in the North Africa region and was number 50 in the world in crypto adoption as of January 2022. In March, governor Jawhari acknowledged this growth stating that for Morroco, the adoption of cryptocurrencies or digital currencies was a matter of time as it “ represents the future” He, however, noted that the country’s hands were tied since the sector was lacking regulatory and legislative frameworks both nationally and internationally.
“The G20 and many countries stress the importance of having a crypto regulatory framework as well as a regulatory framework for CBDCs (Central Bank Digital Currencies),” Jawhari was quoted as saying, citing sources.