Morocco’s Currency Regulator Does Not Recognize Bitcoin

The transactions made via Bitcoin, the digital payment system, constitute a “violation of regulations, punishable by penalties and fines”, said the Moroccan government agency “Office des Changes”.

The Office stand comes few days after Moroccan digital services company MTDS said it would accept payment in bitcoin. According to the Office des Changes, the use of the virtual currency entails risks for its users. So, it bans and warns companies against Bitcoin.

Unlike physical currencies, bitcoin and other so-called crypto-currencies are not backed by states or regulated by central banks. Instead, they derive their value from decentralized ledger systems known as blockchains for verifying transactions and the contents of virtual wallets.

“As secretive payment systems not backed by financial institutions… virtual currencies involve significant risks for their users,” the Offices des Changes stressed.

It added that all of Morocco’s financial transactions with foreign countries must go through intermediaries approved by the authorities and be carried out in foreign currencies listed by Bank Al-Maghrib, the country’s central bank.

According to local media, virtual payments worth around $200,000 pass through Morocco each day, although an exact figure is extremely difficult to verify.
MTDS, a digital services company specializing in digital, security and encryption, launched lately the payment of its services through the Bitcoin virtual currency.

“This is one of the innovative payment methods with high growth potential to allow our customers, especially international, to pay our services directly by Bitcoin alongside other traditional methods of payment such as transfer and local and international bank cards, “explains Karl Stanzick, CEO of MTDS in a statement.

The bitcoin, of the English “bit” unit of binary information and “corner” coin, is a cryptographic currency. It operates without a central authority, nor a single administrator, but in a decentralized manner thanks to the consensus of all the nodes of the network registered in a public register called ‘blockchain’.

Initially, bitcoin was mostly used by websites, but today more and more merchants and companies accept this method of payment, as is the case of Microsoft.

More interesting, some entrepreneurs seek funding for their projects through this virtual currency as an alternative to the stock market.

In the case of MTDS, all its services can now be regulated by Bitcoin, including Datacenter solutions, Internet services, network security and domain names.

For the founder of MTDS, Morocco, with its ambition of international positioning as a financial platform through Casablanca Finance City, has interest in exploring blockchain innovative solutions, including bitcoin.

It should be noted that in addition to payment by Bitcoin, MTDS has deployed in 2017 an exchange point Internet (IXP) “Marix” (Morocco Internet Exchange Point).

It is a technological and physical infrastructure that allows to exchange the local traffic of the three telecom operators (Maroc Telecom, Inwi and Orange) without going through international transit, and to gain speed of access thanks to the reduction of the number of jumps between various access points between Morocco and Europe.

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