On 9th November 2017, the Central Bank of Lesotho issued a statement on the emerging and growing promotion of cyptocurrencies, also known as virtual currencies in Lesotho. In this statement, the Bank highlighted the following points:
- The Central Bank of Lesotho is the legislated sole issuer and redeemer of currency in Lesotho.
- Cryptocurrencies do not fall under the purview of the regulatory scope of the Central Bank of Lesotho and as such there shall be no recourse to the Bank in the event of losses. As such the members of the public are warned to be cautious.
- Due to the nature of cryptocurrency transactions that do not require any disclosures, there are inherent risks of violating existing tax laws, exchange control laws and anti-money laundering/combating of terrorist financing laws.
As a follow-up to this statement, the Bank held a press briefing on 7th February, 2018. The conference was meant to ensure deep discussions on the topic and wider coverage by the media from print, broadcast to interactive media. It was also intended to address the questions around cryptocurrencies as being (a) just another foreign currency and (b) not necessarily a currency but an investment vehicle. During this conference, the Chief Economist and Director of Research of the Central Bank of Lesotho, Mr. Lehlomela Mohapi, briefed the media on cyptocurrencies as follows: