The Kingdom of Morocco intends to regulate the use of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, the use of which is growing in the country, despite its ban. To fight against money laundering and illicit activities such as the financing of terrorism, a bill is planned for this purpose.
In Morocco, a committee has been set up to define an adequate regulatory framework to combine innovation, technology and consumer protection, according to an announcement made by the governor of Bank Al-Maghrib (BAM), Abdellatif Jouahri. It was specified that benchmarking was underway with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank to carry out the necessary consultations in this regard.
It is a priori for the Moroccan authorities to update the legislation relating to the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism. The reflections will have to relate to the elaboration of a draft law, based in particular on the world experiences in the matter. After having banned the use of cryptocurrencies in the country for a long time, the competent Moroccan authorities are taking the lead in trying to protect consumers.
Rush of Moroccans persists towards cryptocurrencies
The Moroccan Capital Market Authority and Bank Al Maghrib, however, did not hide their concern about the rush of Moroccans towards cryptocurrencies, despite numerous warnings. These establishments had denounced a “unregulated activity and characterized by a great receptivity which causes an absence of any protection for the consumer, especially since this system seems attractive and easy to use“.
The fear of the Moroccan financial authorities relates more to the risks of using this process for illicit purposes, in particular for money laundering or the financing of terrorism. The multiple calls made to natural and legal persons active in the sector to strictly comply with the regulations in force have obviously had no effect. On the contrary, Moroccans continue to rush to cryptocurrencies.
Jukka Blomberg, Marketing Director of LocalBitcoins, for example, announced that in terms of trading volumes, February 2021 had been the “best month everof the platform in Morocco. About $900,000 worth of bitcoin had been traded on the platform in that month alone, he said, with nearly a thousand newly created accounts. In a country where the use of cryptocurrencies is however prohibited. What to do with regulation.