Namibia and Cryptocurrency

Namibia Cryptocurrency Laws
Regulation of Digital Currencies: Cryptocurrency, Bitcoins, Blockchain Technology

From a regulatory standpoint, cryptocurrency is illegal.[1] As of November 2018, Bank of Namibia has not released a statement on the use or regulation of cryptocurrencies in its country.[2] The government does not consider virtual currency as a legal tender, and prohibits the purchase of goods and services via virtual currencies.[3] Establishment of exchanges is forbidden by the Currency and Exchanges Act, No.9 of 1993 and the Exchange Control Regulations 1961.[4]  The Bank of Namibia Revised Statement on Cryptocurrencies in May 2018 takes the position that: virtual currencies are not recognized as legal tender; pricing goods or services in cryptocurrencies and accepting cryptocurrency as a form of payment is forbidden under Payment System Management Act 2003; the bank strongly discourages investing or trading in cryptocurrencies because the Bank does not recognize cryptocurrency as a commodity; storing cryptocurrency is discouraged; and no recourse for individuals suffering financial loss or misfortune from their dealings in cryptocurrency is available.[5] Namibia’s stance is based on the fact that cryptocurrency is not minted by a central authority, conflicting with Namibia’s Bank of Namibia Act, which grants the Bank the sole power to issue notes and coins denominated in the Namibian dollar.[6]

P.S. Insights on Cryptocurrency Legal Issues

Most jurisdictions and authorities have yet to enact laws governing cryptocurrencies, meaning that, for most countries, the legality of crypto mining remains unclear.

Under the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), crypto miners are considered money transmitters, so they may be subject to the laws that govern that activity. In Israel, for instance, crypto mining is treated as a business and is subject to corporate income tax. In India and elsewhere, regulatory uncertainty persists, although Canada and the United States are relatively friendly to crypto mining.

However, apart from jurisdictions that have specifically banned cryptocurrency-related activities, very few countries prohibit crypto mining.

Our Freeman Law Cryptocurrency Law Resource page provides a summary of the legal status of cryptocurrency for each country across the globe with statutory or regulatory provisions governing cryptocurrency.  The globe below provides links to country-by-country summaries:

Podcast:

The Freeman Law Project – Cryptocurrency Regulation and Taxation: A Brief Primer

Is cryptocurrency legal in Namibia?

Do you have questions about cryptocurrency, digital currencies, or blockchain technology?
Freeman Law can help with digital currencies, tax planning, and tax compliance.  Contact us now to schedule a consultation or call (214) 984-3410 to discuss your cryptocurrency and blockchain technology concerns.


[1] Viho Mbangu, Change Laws for Cryptocurrency and Fintech, The Namibian (May 17, 2019), https://www.namibian.com.na/188613/archive-read/Change-Laws-for-Cryptocurrency-and-Fintech#:~:.

[2]Baker McKenzie, Blockchain and Cryptocurrency in Africa, 1-20, 8 (Feb. 2019), https://www.bakermckenzie.com/-/media/files/insight/publications/2019/02/report_blockchainandcryptocurrencyreg_feb2019.pdf

[3] Id.

[4] Id.

[5] Revised Position on Cryptocurrencies, Bank of Namibia (May 2018), https://www.bon.com.na/CMSTemplates/Bon/Files/bon.com.na/20/2083bddd-a3c2-4932-b7e4-412e65b17e12.pdf

[6] Mbangu, supra note 22.

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