Cryptocurrency Regulation in The Gambia Prior to 2024

As of 2023, The Gambia’s approach to cryptocurrency regulation was marked by an absence of specific legislation or clear governmental stance. This created a unique environment where cryptocurrencies were neither explicitly endorsed nor prohibited, leading to a degree of ambiguity in the legal and financial landscape.

Lack of Specific Cryptocurrency Legislation

The Gambia had not enacted any regulations or legislation specifically regulating digital currencies. Neither the Central Bank of The Gambia nor the Government of The Gambia had publicly presented a stance regarding the legality of cryptocurrencies. This lack of regulation meant that individuals and businesses in The Gambia were technically free to engage in cryptocurrency transactions and operations, but without any legal protections or recourse in case of disputes or problems​​​​.

Absence of Legal Penalties and General Financial Laws

While there were no specific laws governing the use of cryptocurrencies in The Gambia, general financial and business laws still applied, especially concerning money laundering, fraud, and other financial crimes. Thus, while there were no explicit penalties for cryptocurrency transactions, individuals and businesses could still face legal consequences if they used cryptocurrencies for illegal activities​​.

Government’s Interest in Cryptocurrency Regulation

Despite the absence of specific laws, the Gambian government expressed interest in regulating the cryptocurrency sector. The government recognized the potential of blockchain technology for improving financial services and other sectors of the economy. However, no concrete steps had been taken to implement any regulations in this regard​​.

Legality of Cryptocurrency Trading

Cryptocurrency trading was legal in The Gambia due to the absence of laws prohibiting it. However, traders were advised to use reputable platforms and take necessary precautions to secure their assets, as the lack of regulation also meant a lack of legal protections, potentially exposing them to risks such as fraud and hacking​​.

Central Bank’s Warnings and Monitoring

The Central Bank of Gambia issued warnings about the risks associated with cryptocurrency use and stated that it was closely monitoring developments in the sector. This indicated a cautious approach by the central monetary authority towards the emerging digital currency market​​.

In summary, prior to 2024, The Gambia’s legislative landscape for cryptocurrencies was characterized by an absence of specific regulations, a neutral stance by the government and central bank, and a general applicability of financial laws to crypto operations. This regulatory environment presented both opportunities and risks, as it allowed for the freedom to engage in cryptocurrency transactions while lacking a structured legal framework to protect users and guide businesses in this evolving digital financial space.

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