Crypto-currencies such as bitcoin and ether, which generated market hysteria based on their explosive price gains in 2017, are unlikely to be recognised as legal tender by South African regulators any time soon. The crypto-currency craze saw bitcoin’s price vault to as much as $19,783.06 in December 2017 before collapsing spectacularly last year, falling 81% to its current level of around $3,600, according to CoinDesk.com. In a consultative paper released this week, government agencies cited risks associated with crypto-currencies as a means of payment, and specifically as legal tender, including their ability to be easily exploited for nefarious purposes such as money-laundering and the financing of terrorism. In addition, the development of a parallel payments system might reduce the effectiveness of monetary policy because the Reserve Bank would not be able to affect the cost of borrowing or lending in crypto-currencies. Not recognising crypto-currencies as legal tender could mak...

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