Cryptocurrency Regulations in Cabo Verde Prior to 2023

As of the period leading up to 2023, the legislative landscape for cryptocurrencies in Cabo Verde (Cape Verde) remained largely undefined, characterized by a lack of specific laws or regulatory frameworks governing the use, trading, or mining of digital currencies.

Absence of Explicit Cryptocurrency Laws: There were no explicit laws in Cabo Verde that either legalized or criminalized the use of cryptocurrency. This lack of specific legislation left the use and trading of cryptocurrencies in a state of uncertainty, with neither official endorsement nor prohibition by the government or regulatory authorities​​.

Central Bank’s Stance: The Central Bank of Cabo Verde, responsible for regulating financial activities in the country, had not issued any official statement regarding the use of cryptocurrencies. This absence of guidance from the central monetary authority contributed to the ambiguous status of digital currencies in the country​​​​.

Legal Grey Area for Cryptocurrency Activities: Due to the absence of specific regulations, activities related to cryptocurrencies, such as trading or mining, existed in a legal grey area. These activities were not illegal, but they were also not officially recognized or regulated, leaving individuals and businesses operating in this sphere without clear legal or regulatory guidance​​​​.

Potential Application of General Laws to Cryptocurrency-Related Activities: While there were no established penalties or enforcement measures specifically for cryptocurrency violations, due to the lack of dedicated laws, this did not imply that cryptocurrency use was free from legal risk. General laws related to criminal activities, such as money laundering and fraud, could potentially apply to illicit activities involving cryptocurrencies​​.

Government and Central Bank’s Lack of Articulation on Cryptocurrencies: As of a 2018 study by Ecobank, neither the Government nor the Central Bank of Cape Verde had articulated a public stance with respect to the use of cryptocurrency and its legality. This lack of clarification further entrenched the ambiguous nature of cryptocurrency regulation in the nation​​.

In summary, the legislative environment for cryptocurrencies in Cabo Verde up to 2023 was characterized by a notable absence of specific laws, regulations, or official statements from key financial authorities like the Central Bank. This situation resulted in cryptocurrency activities operating in a legal grey area, with individuals and businesses engaging in these activities at their own risk, while remaining subject to the country’s general legal framework, particularly in areas concerning financial crimes.

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