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Peer-to-Peer Bitcoin Exchange Cryptogem Launches in Zimbabwe

Peer-to-Peer Bitcoin Exchange Cryptogem Launches in Zimbabwe
The peer-to-peer exchange Cryptogem Global has opened a branch in Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare, where it is offering bitcoin trading to Zimbabweans, despite the de facto cryptocurrencies ban by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.
How Cryptogem Works
Melissa Mwale, Cryptogem Global’s CEO and co-founder, told Bitcoin.com: “Cryptogem Global is a […] bitcoin trading platform where people around the globe can exchange their local currencies and e-money to bitcoin.”
Currently, the platform allows for the conversion of fiat and electronic money into bitcoin and vice versa. In the future, Cryptogem wants to enable Zimbabweans to purchase products and services worldwide using digital currencies.
Traders on Cryptogem need to make an initial deposit before trading. After this, they wait for a buyer to match their selling price. After agreeing on terms, Cryptogem automatically transfers the bitcoin to an escrow account until the seller confirms the receipt of the agreed payment. The transactions on Cryptogem typically take a few minutes to complete.
In regards to security, Cryptogem secures their users’ accounts using multi-factor authentication mechanisms. The exchange also plans to store a majority of the funds in hardware wallets to reduce their vulnerability to attacks. A small portion will be left online to facilitate quick withdrawals. Lastly, the server information is obscured using solutions developed by a reputable cybersecurity firm.
Operating Despite the Ban
Initially, cryptocurrencies did not have a clear regulatory framework posing challenges in the country. This year the RBZ imposed a de facto ban on cryptocurrencies by preventing banks from providing their services to bitcoin companies.
For this reason, Zimbabweans have had to perform bitcoin trades using alternative platforms, most of them lack proper security infrastructures.
However, legally the RBZ has no authority to prohibit cryptocurrency trading, meaning the central bank cannot close the crypto trading platforms. In fact, Golix the cryptocurrency exchange took the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe after they tried to shut them down to court. The high court ruled in their favor and said that the governor of the Reserve Bank had no mandate over the cryptocurrency industry.
Regardless, the bank made sure that the exchanges would not continue running their businesses. Consequently, they ordered commercial banks where the platforms stored funds to close down the exchanges’ accounts.
Cryptogem Global exchange has, therefore, not opened accounts with Zimbabwean commercial banks. For this reason, RBZ cannot easily stop its operations.
To date, Cryptogem has traded over $2,000 worth of BTC and has approximately 300 members.
The Silver Lining
Despite the grim situation there is still hope for the crypto space in Zimbabwe. The minister of finance,  Mthuli Ncube , recently  encouraged the investment and regulation of cryptocurrencies in the country. He stated: “[…]Often central banks are too slow in investing in these technologies. But there are other countries which are moving faster. If you look at the Swiss central bank they are investing in – and understanding bitcoin.”
The post Peer-to-Peer Bitcoin Exchange Cryptogem Launches in Zimbabwe appeared first on BitcoinAfrica.io .

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