Rwanda and Cryptocurrency

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

Since 2018, Cryptocurrency is deemed illegal in Rwanda. According to the National Bank of Rwanda (NBR) “anyone who gets involved in the business of buying and selling digital money will do it at their own risk”. [1] According to Cointobuy’s analysis, the crypto-related activity in this country has a 0.9/10 safety rank in the position 238 out of 249 countries in terms of cryptocurrency safety. [2]

Rwanda has not currently enacted regulations or legislation specifically regulating digital currency yet. In order to enact a digital currency regulation, it would be required a new financial policy, structures and passing of a presidential, in which government takes full responsibility of monitoring, circulation and value.[3]

However, since 2019 the National Bank of Rwanda (NBR) is studying the development and issuance of its own digital currency as an action to minimize the country’s concern about anonymity, stability and regulation. A survey was conducted in Rwanda with 45 responses. More than 70% of the respondents expressed concerns about cryptocurrencies and the major concern was stability. However, about 60% noted that a regulated cryptocurrency developed by the government would promote economic activities including online transactions.[4]

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 Rwanda?

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] Central Bank Warns the Public Against Crypto Currency, (Mar. 6, 2018).  Available at https://www.ktpress.rw/2018/03/central-bank-warns-the-public-against-crypto-currency/

[2] Cryptocurrency Analysis, “Ultimate crypto investment safety rankings”, (Jun. 4, 2021).  Available at https://cointobuy.io/countries/rwanda

[3] Supra note 1.

[4] Rwandacoin: Prospects and Challenges of Developing a Cryptocurrency for Transactions in Rwanda.  Available at https://arxiv.org/pdf/1901.06249.pdf

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