Morocco tries cryptocurrency

A bill for the regulation of their use announced by the central bank

a committee is working to put in place an appropriate regulatory framework to combine innovation, technology and consumer protection.

Strategic reversal for Morocco. The Kingdom will indeed legislate in the field of digital currencies. This is one of the big announcements in the wake of the board of directors of the Moroccan central bank held on Tuesday. In this sense, the wali of Bank Al-Maghrib (BAM), Abdellatif Jouahri, told the media that a bill to regulate the use of cryptocurrencies will see the light of day. Speaking at the press briefing at the end of BAM’s second quarterly meeting of 2022, Mr. Jouahri said that a committee is working to put in place an adequate regulatory framework to combine innovation, technology and protection. of the consumer.

In this regard, the wali of the central bank stressed that several aspects will be taken into consideration for the drafting of this bill, in particular world experiences in this area, noting that benchmarking is underway with the Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank to carry out the necessary consultations in this regard. He also noted that this regulatory framework will also make it possible to update the legislation relating to the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism. And to note that some experts are advocating for international regulation in relation to the use of digital currencies.

Prohibition

The country’s monetary authorities are therefore operating a 360° change. Indeed, the use of cryptocurrencies is now strictly prohibited on the Moroccan market. As a reminder, BAM, the Ministry of Economy and Finance, and the Moroccan Capital Market Authority (AMMC) have drawn the public’s attention to the risks associated with the use of virtual currencies, mainly the lack of consumer protection, the volatility of the exchange rate of these virtual currencies against a legal tender currency, in addition to the use of these currencies for illicit or criminal purposes, in particular money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

The Minister of Economy and Finance had already hinted a few months ago that a text was in the pipeline. During a session of oral questions in the House of Representatives, Nadia Fettah Alaoui was questioned about the formal use of virtual currency at the national level and the government’s vision in this direction.

The Minister then indicated that her department was examining jointly with Bank Al-Maghrib and other international institutional partners the regulatory feasibility of this use. Noting that in March 2021 already, Abdellatif Jouahri had announced the establishment not of a single commission but of three. “One for central bank e-money and the other two for crypto-assets as well as tracking developments,” he explained. And to continue: “We are in contact with the central bank of Canada, the central bank of England and the central bank of Switzerland”.

Probable exit from the Treasury

The wali of Bank Al-Maghrib (BAM) has just affirmed that discussions have started on the subject of a possible exit of the Treasury on the international market. “Discussions between the Treasury and the advisory banks are already underway to test the waters with international investors, assess loan conditions on world markets and see how Morocco’s risk premium evolves under current conditions,” he said. governor of the central bank during a press briefing after the second quarterly meeting of the Board of BAM.

He specified that of the 40 billion dirhams (MMDH) of foreign currency debt provided for by the 2022 Finance Law, around 15 to 20 billion dirhams will be mobilized from multilateral development institutions, while the rest should be mobilized via the financial markets. international.

LPL

Mr. Jouahri specified that it will be up to the government and the Ministry of Finance to judge whether or not it is appropriate to carry out an exit, or not, on the international markets, recalling that the conditions will not be as favorable as during the previous exit from the Treasury in 2020, in particular because of the tightening of monetary policies in the world which will impact the conditions on which the Treasury will borrow.

The Treasury still has the possibility, for its budgetary needs, to draw on the precautionary and liquidity line (PLL) which has not yet been used, knowing that the statutes of the IMF and BAM allow it. , concluded Mr. Jouahri. As a reminder, Morocco had decided in April 2020 to draw on all available resources under the agreement in force under the precautionary and liquidity line, i.e. an amount of 2.15 billion SDRs ( about $3 billion or 240% of the country’s quota and about 3% of its GDP).

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