Monday, October 2, 2023
  • Tunisia worked with the Russian ICO startup Universal to create Edinar, Tunisia’s CBDC.
  • In 2018 Tunisia passed a startup Act that encouraged all its local talents and innovators to pursue blockchain-based ideas.
  • The Tunisian government amended its constitution several times and added a chapter termed “Cryptocurrencies“.

Cryptocurrency in Tunisia has thrived over the past few years. Its government has embraced blockchain technology so much that it is one of the few countries seeking to employ a CBDC within its economy. Although similar to many African governments, Tnunisa did not embrace the use of digital currency until much later. Fortunately, cryptocurrency experienced several positive reviews within the country. In a matter of time, Tunisia changed its mind about the entire concept of crypto assets.

Below is the story of how Tunisia went from being one of the countries that banned crypto assets to converting their fiat currency into digital money.

The initial Ban on Cryptocurrency in Tunisia

Crypto assets have a rocky start in most African Nations. This assertive take on crypto mainly stems from the fact that most governments fear digital currency. Due to its ability to offer a better solution to its citizens than its fiat currency. In doing so, the value of a country’s currency will rapidly decline to cause what is essentially termed “economic suicide.” Thus when the very concept of digital currency in Tunisia came to be its government-employed extremely harsh crypto regulations.

Also, Read Morocco: Central bank unveils a cryptocurrency regulation bill.

According to a report released by its government, banning cryptocurrency in Tunisia was an attempt to protect the country from the dangers of money laundering. At the time, Deputy Yassine Ayari published this official notice as a warning. It reflects the possible dangers of incorporating cryptocurrency within the government. The government amended its constitution several times and added a chapter termed “Cryptocurrencies”. It bans the use of digital currency within Tunisia. Unfortunately, the ban on cryptocurrency was not taken lightly by its crypto community. Many, especially the youth and IT professionals, pondered upon this new directive. Especially since blockchain adoption in Tunisia would have the potential to solve a majority of its issues.

Crypto-ban-in-Tunisia

Cryptocurrency in Tunisia was initially banned due to the government’s fear that digital currency would dethrone its fiat currency and throw its economy into chaos.[Photo/SlideShare]

This initiative grew worse with time as authorities arrested a 17-year-old Tunisian boy in April 2021 for using cryptocurrency for online transactions. The incidents caused massive outrage in Tunisia’s crypto community. Many questioned its government’s motive. Rumours spread that the strict laws on cryptocurrency were means for the government to retain control of the country’s financial position. According to local crypto trades, the use of crypto assets offers an alternative, especially to its unemployed citizens. Fortunately, over the years, its government has steadily warmed up to the concept of cryptocurrency in Tunisia.

Cryptocurrency in Tunisia Ushered in its CBDC

As the years passed, cryptocurrency broke down into its basic functionality, blockchain technology. Soon various individuals discovered applications were recently compatible with AFrica’s ecosystem. Despite the initial ban on cryptocurrency, blockchain adoption in Tunisia took a steady incline. Indeed Tunisia eventually became one of the first African countries to start moving its national currency to a blockchain platform. The concept of Tunisia CBDC took the entire nation by storm.  Tunisia’s crypto community saw hope that the government was finally warming up to the idea of crypto assets. 

To achieve a Tunisia CBDC the government worked with the Russian ICO startup Universa. This partnership helped to issue and construct Edinar, Tunisia’s CBDC. The Central Bank of Tunisia announced that the digitalization of the Tunisian dinar would be published in 2019. In addition, it resides in the Universa Blockchain network.

Tunisia CBDC

Tunisia CBDC, Edinar, is the first positive step the country took to embrace blockchain adoption and the use of crypto assets.[Photo/Twitter]

Even though it is still not a crypto asset, the digitalization of their fiat currency was the first active step digital currency in Tunisia had in a long time. The founder and CEO of Universal, Alexander Borondich stated that despite its alternative nature to cryptocurrency, Tunisia CBDC would be able to solve various issues currently plaguing the country. One of its first few implementations would change how private banking services operate and increase the country’s financial inclusion.

Also, Read CBDC shortcomings in Africa as highlighted by eNaira.

Fortunately, its blockchain adoption rate is sure to increase especially in terms of blockchain-based startups. With the high rise in demand for blockchain developers, Tunsia was one of the first countries o encourage startups to focus on digital transformation within the country. In 2018 Tunisia passed a startup Act that encouraged all its local talents and innovators. It also advocated for the creation of more blockchain-based startups that would aid in job creation within the country.

In 2018, ConsenSys proved that it was possible to conduct financial traction between a Moroccan and a Tunisian in seconds rather than 72 hours by creating a token on a blockchain network. This implied that with rapid blockchain adoption, Tunisia would easily establish business creation and property in international trade.

In time, Tunisia saw the immense applications of blockchain technology and enacted a crowdfunding law to facilitate the financing of new businesses. Despite having mixed opinions about cryptocurrency in Tunisia, its blockchain adoption rate rapidly increased.

Wrapping up

Digital currency in Tunisia is still a debatable topic, however, since the creation of Edinar, the government appears to have changed its tune on the whole concept of crypto assets. Today Africa has an increased rate of blockchain-based applications. It’s only a matter of time before the concept of Web3 engulfs the entire African network system.

In addition, blockchain adoption in Tunisia has risen due to its various applications. In 2020, Marouane Abbasi, the then governor of the Central Bank, stated that it was high time the country changed its view on crypto assets and prepare for effective monitoring of its use. Today there is still split opinion, but its government has shown some signs that it may finally warm up to the concept of cryptocurrency in Tunisia.

Also, Read ERC-20 as a core standard behind Ethereum’s success.

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