In a complete 180 degree turn from previous comments by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, the central bank governor, Dr John Mangudya on Wednesday said RBZ has put into motion studies to investigate blockchain technology as it is a new developing global innovation.
“I did not say cryptocurrencies because it is lower than blockchain. Blockchain encompasses all the cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and all the cryptocurrencies and we are saying we are putting in motion studies, ways and means of investigating that blockchain technology,” Dr Mangudya said.
“In fact, it is true that for the rest of the world, if you go to countries like United States, China, United Kingdom, and South Africa it (blockchain) is the issue that is being discussed by the central banks, including the likes of the International Monetary Fund.” He added.
Bitcoin is often described as an anonymous currency because it is possible to send and receive bitcoins without giving any personally identifying information. However, achieving reasonable anonymity with Bitcoin can be quite complicated and perfect anonymity may be impossible.
“What we are against as I have always said is to do things which are not regulated because we need to know where these bitcoins are being mined and do want to hunt them. So while we want to embrace things, we need to know where they are coming from. If you embrace mobile banking platforms we know that there is a trust account,” Mangudya said.
In the original Satoshi whitepaper, it was recommended that Bitcoin users use a new address for each transaction to avoid the transactions being linked to a common owner. This would be the equivalent of writing many books under different pseudonyms. Although this remains a best practice, it is not enough to guarantee full anonymity due to multi-input transactions.
“If you are investing in virtual money, we want to know where it is being mined. In fact, cryptocurrencies are just like mobile money because you need a wallet where you deposit the cryptocurrency, but the issue is what is their source and how do they do it?” he added.
Know your customer (KYC) is the process of a business verifying the identity of its clients and assessing potential risks of illegal intentions for the business relationship. The term is also used to refer to the bank regulations and anti-money laundering regulations which govern these activities.