If you pay attention to what is happening in the financial world, it’s obvious we are having a new shift in the Direction in which the financial world is moving.
These shifts shouldn’t be a surprise as the world financial system has come a long way from the days of barter, cowries, and gold to the present-day digital currency.
First, it was the BRICS, El-Salvador, and now Zimbabwe is joining the fray in disrupting the world financial system as they are set to launch a digital currency backed by Gold according to a report by the Central Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ).
The aim of gold-backed digital currency by the Zimbabwean government is to ensure the stability of the local currency against the United States dollar. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is responsible for introducing this new currency.
According to a report by the local media Sunday Mail, the Central Bank of Zimbabwe announced a move that will allow Zimbabweans to exchange small amounts of Zimbabwe dollars for a digital gold token. This initiative aims to enable more citizens to hedge against currency volatility.
Governor John Mangudya stated that the plan aims to include everyone and ensure no one is left behind. Bloomberg reports that Zimbabwe’s currency currently trades at nearly Z$1,001 against $1 dollar, but is exchanged for Z$1,750 on the streets of Harare, the country’s capital.
The annual consumer price inflation in Zimbabwe in the month of March, decreased to a one-year low of 87.6%, down from 92% in February 2023.
Mangudya expects the parallel market exchange rate to stabilize in the coming weeks once tobacco farmers receive their United States dollar payments. He attributed the current exchange rate volatility to the market’s anticipation of increased foreign currency supply during the tobacco season.
According to a Wall Street Journal report from March, the monetary dysfunction in Zimbabwe resulted in a scarcity of small change within the country. Businesses have resorted to printing their own makeshift currency, often on handwritten scraps of paper, to enable customers to pay for future purchases.
Zimbabwe has been grappling with currency volatility and inflation for more than a decade. In 2009, the country replaced its currency with the US dollar following a bout of hyperinflation. In 2019, the Zimbabwe dollar was reintroduced in an attempt to revive the country’s ailing economy. Last year, the government reverted to using the US dollar to tackle spiraling prices in the country.
The economic challenges have spurred the adoption of cryptocurrencies in many African countries. Chainalysis reported that the Middle East and North Africa region experienced the fastest growth in crypto adoption in the world. Between July 2021 and June 2022, there were over $566 billion in crypto transactions, a 48% increase from the previous year. This growth was largely driven by cross-border remittances.
This has led to a lot of questions that might find answers in the next few months or years.
Will this lead to the end of the United States Dollar on the market front?
Will more countries opt for a digital currency?
As for Zimbabwe and most African countries, what we’ve noticed is that there are a lot of policy ideas, where the problems stem from is majorly implementation.
It is cool to watch with cool interest as the New currency policy unfolds.
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