INSA Begins Registering Crypto Service Owners, Transfer Providers in Ethiopia

ADDIS ABABA – The Information Network Security Administration (INSA), an agency in charge of Ethiopia’s cyberspace security,
has begun to register crypto service owners and transfer providers in Ethiopia.

The registration push started a few months after the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) said people are widely using cryptocurrencies for transactions in the country, where the use of digital currencies is currently illegal.

Earlier this year, lawmakers amended the Proclamation to re-establish the INSA, which added provisions that, some say, pave the way for the use of digital currencies, legally.

The amended law granted the agency the mandate to “regulate and control cryptographic products and their transactions” in the country.

It has also made the agency a “Root Certificate Authority” in charge of setting the necessary criteria and developing operating procedures, as well as developing and implementing cryptographic infrastructure.

Urgent Notice

In an urgent notice on Wednesday, INSA said “there is interest among individuals and entities in providing crypto services including mining and transfer” in Ethiopia.

“To properly regulate this field” as per the newly ratified law, “INSA has begun to register individuals and entities that are involved in crypto operations (services) including transfer and or mining”, the notice reads.

The Administration has given all individuals and entities who are involved in providing crypto services a ten-day period, starting from today, to apply for registration.

On those who failed to do so, INSA could request the appropriate body to take necessary legal measures, the notice states.

Last June, the National Bank of Ethiopia said that transactions via cryptocurrencies are creating an opportunity for capital flight and money laundering.

Birr is the only legal currency in Ethiopia, the central bank said, stressing that there is still no officially recognized cryptocurrency exchange in the country.

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