World Bank Won’t Support Central African Republic’s Sango Crypto Hub

The World Bank has voiced concern about the Central African Republic’s (CAR) decision to allow Bitcoin (BTC), in addition to having announced the bank will not be supporting the newly announced “Sango” cryptocurrency hub. At the end of April, CAR President Touadera Faustin Archange created a framework of regulation to regulate cryptocurrency across the CAR. The president also approved Bitcoin as a legal tender.

On May 24, he unveiled plans to launch “Sango,” the country’s first cryptocurrency exchange. Sango is touted as the first “crypto project” that combines economic measures like no income or corporate tax along with the establishment of a physical and virtual “crypto island.” According to a document that outlines the Sango program, the nation “received World Bank permission for the creation of a development fund worth $35 million for digitalization of the public sector.” In an email in which the World Bank spokesman informed Bloomberg that the grant recently approved “is not connected to any cryptocurrency endeavor” and “the World Bank is not funding ‘Sango’ -The First Crypto Initiative Project.'”

The $35 million grant of the World Bank, announced on May 5, was intended to improve and modernize the finance system for the public, including by increasing electronic bank payments. CAR’s support for Bitcoin is also a source of anger for Abbas Mahamat Tolli, Governor of the Bank of Central African States (BEAC). He wrote an angry letter to the Finance Minister of CAR, Herve Ndoba, after finding out about the decision to adopt it. According to Tolli’s letter, the bill “suggests that its primary purpose is to create the possibility of establishing a Central African currency beyond the authority of the BEAC which could challenge or even replace the official currency” Tolli believes that it could “endanger the stability of the monetary system.”

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