Museveni, bank boss disagree on cryptocurrencies
President urges Bank of Uganda governor to embrace emerging technologies
President Yoweri Museveni and Bank of Uganda Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime-mutebile have disagreed on whether the country should adopt the use of cryptocurrency in running financial transactions.
Cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency that uses cryptography for security. While giving a keynote address during the Africa Blockchain Conference at Kampala Serena Hotel, Prof Mutebile said the emergence of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin has made central banks to revisit two fundamental questions: what functions of a currency are and what the requirements for a credible currency are.
He warned that no cryptocurrency can match a well-managed national or regional currency.
“Cryptocurrencies do not have the privileges of a legal tender and are not backed by a central bank which ensures that supply of currency is always adequate to meet the demand,” he said.
However, Mr Museveni told Prof Mutebile to embrace emerging technologies in the financial and banking sector.
Although he said Prof Mutebile was not opposed to blockchain technology but wanted experts at the conference to explore its potential benefits to the public, he told the governor not to be dismissive of the new technology.
“I would encourage the governor not to be more inquisitive and not to be dogmatic. I congratulate him for reminding me of my economics of 1966 that money is a store of value, a medium of exchange and a unit of account,” Mr Museveni said.
“When we get into new technology, sometimes we tend to get lost and we lose touch with technology that comes. Business is about the supply of goods and services to meet the demands of the people. They determine the sources of goods and services to be traded,” he said.