Mwanamvekha made the remarks in Mangochi on Monday when he officially opened the 2019 Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) Monetary Policy Conference.
The Minister said: “As the world is now a global village, it is paramount to understand the underground current of cryptocurrencies and its impact on the economy. Let me also applaud Reserve Bank of Malawi for this initiative as it brings together financial experts within and beyond the borders. ”
He has since challenged participants to the conference to critically discuss and come up with new insights on cryptocurrencies with the country’s economy in mind.
“We cannot pretend that it is not there. The reality is cryptocurrencies exist. So it is our paramount responsibility to examine the trends and its impact on monetary and fiscal policies. Currently we are closely monitoring as we can’t regulate what we don’t know,” said Mwanamvekha.
On his part RBM governor, Dalitso Kabambe, concurred with the Minister on the need to understudy the digital currencies.
(L-R) Prof. YoungBae Moon, Kabambe, Mwanamvekha & Tim Masela
“Cryptocurrencies started from a gambling background where some individuals felt they could issue coins now some private institutions are developing their own digital currencies that should be running side by side with currencies issued by the central banks.
“So we are discussing from a monetary policy perspective, what will be the implications on financial stability. We are treading cautiously and at the moment we are not adopting the currency till we understand the whole system and how we can regulate it,” said Kabambe.
Another dimension arising from cryptocurrencies discussion is the option of the central bank issuing its own digital currency which can be regulated in contrast to other currencies which are issued by private firms.
Earlier on Mwanamvekha highlighted that acting impulsively on the subject under discussion without putting in place safety and regulative measures the country makes it susceptible to digital money laundering and loss of revenue through tax evasion.
Delegates to the 2019 RBM Monetary Policy Conference
The daylong conference is expected to come up with a consensus on the future of cryptocurrency in Malawi.