Morocco is moving towards a law to regulate the sector estimated at more than 6 million dollars

The Wali of the Moroccan central bank, Abdellatif Jouahri, has announced that Morocco is moving towards the establishment of a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies. A specialized committee is considering this subject. More than 6 million dollars of Bitcoin are exchanged in Morocco, and more than 2 million dirhams each week in other cryptocurrencies.

During a press briefing at the end of the second quarterly meeting of Bank Al Maghrib of 2022, the head of the central bank confirmed that the regulation of cryptocurrencies had passed the study stage, and that a -before bill already existed.

In addition, a committee is working on the issue, enabling consumer protection and enabling the development of technology and innovation.

Mr. Jouahri said in this regard, that to implement this project, several elements will be taken into account, such as global experiences in this area. He indicated that comparative work is being done in collaboration with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, with whom the Moroccan authorities are in consultation.

Considering that many international experts are urging to create a global regulation in terms of digital currencies, the head of BAM, explained that the establishment of a regulatory framework, already at the national level, will allow to update the relative legislation to the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

In recent weeks, Bank Al Maghrib, the Ministry of Economy and Finance, and the Moroccan Capital Market Authority (AMMC) have all three warned of the risks of digital currencies, especially for consumers.

Among the sources of concern, the legal vacuum does not protect consumers against scams, the volatility of currency rates compared to traditional currencies, and the diversion of these currencies to finance criminal or terrorist activities.

The Moroccan authorities had expressed an interest in regulating the sector by a law already in January as well as during the first quarterly meeting of the Board of Bank Al Maghrib. These echoes were heard as much by the Wali of Bank Al Maghrib as by the Minister of the Economy, Nadia Fettah Alaoui.

The authorities’ growing interest in digital currencies is explained by a developing market in Morocco despite the fact that these currencies have been banned since 2017.

Indeed, it would be 2% of the Moroccan population who owns cryptocurrencies, which would represent 900,000 Moroccans, according to the specialized platform Triple A.

Morocco is also ranked 24th in the 2021 ranking of the Global Cryptocurrency Adoption Index by the American research firm Chainalysis.

Only at the level of Bitcoin, the country recorded an exchange volume of 6 million dollars, the highest level in the North Africa region. At the continental level, Morocco is ranked in 4th place, behind Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya. A place driven in particular by a volume of exchanges and transactions of more than 2 million dirhams each week via a single site, and all digital currencies combined.

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