Tunisian Finance Minister Ali Kooli said in a television interview over the weekend that the country plans to change its cryptocurrency laws and that Bitcoin ownership should be “decriminalized”.
Tunisian Finance Minister Ali Kooli said in a television interview over the weekend that the country plans to change its cryptocurrency laws and that Bitcoin ownership should be “decriminalized” .
The proposed law change comes after local media reported that a 17-year-old Tunisian boy was arrested in April for using cryptocurrency for an online transaction, according to a Coindesk report. The incident caused outrage in the Tunisian cryptocurrency community, with many arguing that the arrest was due to a lack of regulatory clarity in Tunisia.
While regulators in Africa are ostensibly struggling with cryptocurrency policy, making contradictory statements and taking drastic measures, this only seems to lead to an increase in African individual users. Paxful CEO Ray Youssef, who appeared on CoinDesk TV’s “First Mover” earlier this month, said that the African continent is leading the world in cryptocurrency adoption, and encouraged the cryptocurrency community to “keep all eyes on Africa.”
At a cryptocurrency conference in Switzerland last year, Tunisian central bank chief Marouane al-Abassi had this to say about Bitcoin :
“We believe it would be a mistake to initially restrict a technology… The Central Bank of Tunisia made a strategic choice to position itself as a facilitator in the Tunisian innovation ecosystem.”
But regardless of the disclosures, efforts to pass cryptocurrency-friendly laws in Tunisia have waned, and an arrest has been made in April.
Even without regulatory clarity, cryptocurrency adoption is growing at a record pace in Tunisia . Tunisian user registrations on cryptocurrency exchanges like CEX.IO increased by 11% in the first quarter of 2021 compared to last year, according to a report by Carthage, a Tunisian English language publication.