Some good news in the world of Bitcoin today, as Zimbabwe's Harare High Court issued a default ruling, which lifts a ban barring all financial institutions from offering any services to digital currency exchanges and traders. This ruling was issued by default as both defendants –Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ)'s officials and governor, John Mangudya, failed to show up to for court against the plaintiff, digital currency exchange, Golix.
The RBZ issued this ban on Friday, May 11. The ban was applied to all central banks within the country, and disallowed them to transact, in any way, with digital currency traders or businesses. The RBZ was further quoted:
"In order to safeguard the integrity, safety, and soundness of the country’s financial system, and to protect the public in general, all financial institutions are hereby required to ensure that they do not use, trade, hold and/or transact in any way in virtual currencies."
While the bank argues that the reasons behind their ban were to prevent the facilitation of instances like, tax evasion and money laundering, some believe that the ban was for the banks' best interest. Exchanges like Golix, were solving a major issue regarding the value of exchange, and cross-boarder transactions. Days after the ban was issued, Golix made plans to appeal to the Harare High Court.
It's hard to understand the failure to appear by the defendants, but it's great news for Zimbabwe's digital currency users, and largest exchange, Golix, alike. An official from Golix was quoted after the ruling:
"We are hoping that we can immediately go back to doing business and processing the order book."
Others were excited on the belief that justice was being served accordingly in Zimbabwe:
Some of the main points outlined by Golix, in their appeal to lift the ban had included: “lawmaking, a function that belongs to the legislature”, “The Respondents are in fact purporting to classify the trade in cryptocurrency as illegal". Though no back and forth in the trial took place, thanks to the absentees, the ban has been lifted. This means Zimbabweans can again start using strong, liquid digital currencies like Bitcoin and Ether, to protect their assets, and avoid the cash shortages plaguing the citizens of Zimbabwe. Well done, Golix!