New details on Bank Al Maghrib’s draft cryptocurrency regulation

We know more about the cryptocurrency regulation project that Morocco is working on. A draft regulation that defines a policy framework for cryptocurrency exchanges.

This was explained by Adil Zbir, responsible for monitoring the financial market infrastructures and payment systems at the Al-Maghrib Bank.

Speaking during the plenary session on “the integration of payment systems: a growth accelerator”, one of the topics discussed at the US-Africa Business Summit held in Marrakech from 19 to 22 July, the Central Bank official expressed some light on Bank Al Maghrib’s vision of cryptocurrencies and its approach to regulating their use.

“The draft bill in preparation aims to regulate cryptocurrency trading platforms. Like France, to take this example, there must be a licensing and approval system precisely to allow these platforms to offer their services to Moroccan consumers ”, he says.

Specifically, the week of July 15, Changpeng Zhao, the founder of one of the most important cryptocurrency exchange platforms Binance, met with Central Bank teams before a brief exchange with the wali, Abdellatif Jouahri.

“We are on a regulation (draft regulation, ed) that allows these platforms to exist”, he continues. “The goal is to think about the question of regulation that will give rise to a bill that I believe is more balanced”.

Bank Al Maghrib vigilant

Preferring to talk about cryptocurrencies rather than cryptocurrencies, “because their payment role is a minor role compared to what you actually do”, Adil Zbir explains that “the starting point was to set up a committee that thinks about Digital Currencies. “.

“In all seriousness, when cryptocurrencies started taking over the world, we were quite suspicious. We are not in the ban, but we are vigilant, ”she says.

“So we set up a Central Bank Digital Currencies Committee (MDBC) which had a cryptocurrency working group that brings together all regulators,” suggests Adil Zbir.

The presence of other financial sector regulators is explained by their concern, in particular the market authorities because “most of the operations are carried out as financial investments. The transactions that are made globally are more financial instruments in which you invest, obviously you save with a certain speculation and volatility ”, he specifies.

The strong presence of volatility is one of the reasons why Bank Al Maghrib does not consider cryptocurrencies as types of money in their primary role.

Regulation, yes, “but in complete safety”he insists the head of financial market infrastructures and payment system monitoring at Bank Al-Maghrib.

“Mainly because there are two issues that concern and concern us, money laundering and the financing of terrorism,” he says.

Safety first

One of the most important issues to be addressed is that of IT security. Is critical. When we are in the field of payments, cyber security becomes a serious problem.

“As regulators, we always have this difficulty in ensuring the balance between safety and innovation. When you have a Fintech population that is the most flexible and innovative, they would like us to go as quickly as possible, ”says the Central Bank representative.

Nationally, he explains that Bank Al Maghrib tried to have the most agile strategy when it launched its digital strategy in 2019. “We focused the strategy on two main pillars: the internal Digital Lab to welcome all fintechs who would like to digitize their fundamental missions of the Central Bank, in particular in terms of supervision and regulation “.

“And for the outside, we put to set up the “Fintechs one-stop shop” which aims to welcome Fintechs who would like to operate in Morocco. It was installed at the level of the entity responsible for payments because there is one of the most significant statistics: 40% of Fintechs carry out payment activities ”.

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