Cryptocurrency service providers operating in Ethiopia have been ordered to register with the country’s cybersecurity agency known as the Information Network Security Administration (INSA), according to a report by the Ethiopian Monitor.
INSA, the agency in charge of Ethiopia’s cybersecurity has begun to register cryptocurrency service owners and transfer providers in the country. Cryptocurrency service providers have been ordered to register following an announcement from the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) in which they said people are widely using crypto transactions in the country, where the use of digital currencies is currently illegal. Earlier in the year, lawmakers amended a law to re-establish the INSA which added provisions to pave the way for the legal use of digital currencies. According to the report, the amended law gives the cybersecurity agency the power to oversee cryptographic products and related transactions. The INSA is also tasked with developing operating procedures as well as the cryptographic infrastructure. The NBE warned residents against the use of cryptocurrencies to make payments but also encourage them to report such transactions.
Despite the NBE’s hostile stance toward cryptocurrencies, the INSA has advised crypto service providers operating in the country to adhere to its registration requirement, saying:
There is interest among individuals and entities in providing crypto services including mining and transfer. [Therefore] to properly regulate this field, INSA has begun to register individuals and entities that are involved in crypto operations (services) including transfer and or mining.
According to the Ethiopian Monitor’s report, crypto service providers have been granted a ten-day period in which they must complete the registration process. The INSA has also said that necessary “legal measures” will be taken against entities that fail to comply with its directive.
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