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New Crypto Exchange is Launched in Central Africa Amid Calls for Bitcoin Not to be Accepted as Legal Tender

MARA, a Pan-African crypto exchange has been launched and announced a partnership with the Central African Republic (CAR), which just passed a bill legalizing Bitcoin as legal tender. As part of this partnership, MARA will become the official crypto partner of the CAR and an advisor to the President on crypto strategy and planning. MARA’s launch comes at a critical point in central Sub-Saharan Africa. Political and economic instability has led to the devaluation of currencies across the region, while the current centralized financial system continues to present obstacles to the development of local economies.

Meanwhile, the Cameroon-headquartered Bank of Central African States (BEAC) has urged the CAR to annul the law it passed in late April which made Bitcoin legal tender. A letter from the bank’s governor to the CAR’s finance minister said the move suggests the CAR wants a currency beyond the bank’s control. BEAC said the CAR’s decision to make Bitcoin legal tender could compete with the Central African Franc (CFA), the region’s France-backed currency. The regional bank’s letter goes on to suggest that using cryptocurrency could upset monetary stability in the 6-member Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC). CEMAC members, including the CAR, Cameroon, Chad, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, and the Republic of Congo, use the CFA Franc as currency. Economists note cryptocurrency is growing in popularity and is difficult to control.

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