A Tunisian minister has stated that he intends to ‘decriminalize’ the purchase of bitcoin.
Tunisia has become the latest African government to show a readiness to embrace digital assets, following news that Tanzanian President Samia Hassan had ordered her finance director to look into cryptocurrencies.According to comments attributed to Tunisia’s economics minister, Ali Kooli, the North African country would soon legalize bitcoin purchases. This follows the recent arrest of a 17-year-old cryptocurrency user.
According to rumors, Minister Kooli wants to decriminalize bitcoin purchases in order to prevent another Tunisian teenager from going to jail. This is in order to avoid falling foul of the country’s ambiguous cryptocurrency regulations. In a recent TV interview, he stated:
I will change the law, we cannot put a Tunisian young man in prison for buying bitcoin.
The government official’s comments come after news broke in Tunisia that a 17-year-old crypto user had been arrested by police police. Following the teenager’s alleged arrest on suspicion of money laundering, some members of Tunisia’s blockchain community criticised the government’s heavy-handed attitude, citing the country’s lack of defined crypto legislation.In addition, crypto supporters and sympathizers began a social media campaign denouncing the crypto user’s detention.
Meanwhile, with these remarks, Minister Kooli has joined the ranks of Tunisian officials who have embraced cryptocurrency. The governor of Tunisia’s Central Bank, Marouane Abbasi, stated in 2020 that the nation needs to follow bitcoin and prepare for efficient oversight of its use cases.