Uganda’s parliament is working on a bill to regulate virtual assets

The East African country is now looking to provide regulatory clarity for virtual assets and cryptocurrencies after initial hostilities.

Uganda’s parliament is working on a bill to regulate virtual assets
Plenary sitting chaired by the Speaker Rt. Hon. Anita Among | Credit: Parliament of Uganda

Africa’s crypto policy scene is seeing increased activities, with the latest development coming out of Uganda. The country’s parliament is working on a bill to regulate digital assets and make legal provisions for tokenization in an amendment to the Capital Markets Authority Bill.

That’s according to a letter from the parliament’s clerk to Uganda’s minister of finance, planning and economic development. 

Details 

  • The bill, being prepared for its first reading, is sponsored by a Member of Parliament Nathan Igeme Nabeta. 
  • In the letter, the clerk of the parliament, Adolf Kasaija, asked that Nabeta be issued a certificate of financial implication. This would enable him to present the bill to the parliament. 

Key quote 

  • Kasaija wrote: 
“The object of the proposed bill is to amend the Capital Markets Authority Act to…provide for virtual and digital assets [and] provide for tokenization and regulatory sandboxes.” 

Before now 

  • Cryptocurrencies and other digital assets are not recognized as legal tender in Uganda. A statement issued by the country’s minister of finance on October 1, 2019, classified the activities of crypto exchanges as unregulated and illegal. 
  • However, Ugandans were merely warned from transacting with cryptocurrencies. Virtual assets were not banned in the country. 
  • The Bank of Uganda reiterated this stance in April 2021 circular banning financial service providers from facilitating crypto-related transactions or risk their licenses being revoked. 
  • In what appeared to be a softening stance, the bank issued another circular expressing its willingness to test some crypto business models under its fintech innovative financial solutions regulatory sandbox. 

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