The Bank of Botswana (BOB) governor, Moses Pelaelo has said that while there is monetary value attached to the various crypto assets, these are not money, and certainly not legal tender backed by the central bank.
Pelaelo was speaking at the Fintech, Payments and Financial inclusion workshop held in the capital Gaborone this past week.
He acknowledged that there are people who choose to participate and hold crypto assets, adding that such “entrepreneurs” should not expect protection by the central bank, beyond general public policy interest. He stated that they can, however, offer advice that participants in any crypto currency issuance or activity should exercise the necessary due diligence, including establishing the legitimacy of the venture and the promoters, the exact nature of related activity and ask for information on the licensing, registering or supervisory authorities, as the case may be.
He was also not shy to state that Fintech causes a disruption that can affect performance of central bank mandates and their traditional view of institutions that they oversee.
He said that Fintech facilitates unbundling of traditional banking models and opens up an otherwise comfortably regulated industry to new entrants, potentially diffusing the regulatory coverage and effectiveness.
Pelaelo also admitted that Fintech is driving banks and other financial institutions to either adapt the new technology and or collaborate with Fintech companies and mobile network operators in order to remain relevant and adopt efficiencies.
“There is need for continuous review and adaptation with respect to instruments and processes for the conduct of monetary policy and monetary operations, as well as the supervisory aspects for financial institutions,” he stated.