Ethiopia’s national security agency, Information Network Security Agency (INSA), has made an urgent call to individuals and entities involved in providing crypto services to register with the authority.
The call, which went out yesterday, urges those involved in mining and crypto transfer in Ethiopia, to register within ten consecutive working days from the date of this announcement.
INSA remarked that failing to register might result in legal consequences, citing that it has the legal mandate to regulate crypto use in Ethiopia.
INSA, which has the powers to regulate cryptographic products and their transactions stated this in the urgent notice “Accordingly, to properly regulate this field, INSA has begun to register individuals and entities that are involved in crypto operations (services), including transfer and or mining”.
This is the second time crypto use has sparked controversy in Ethiopia, following the National Bank of Ethiopia’s statement in June 2022 in which it said it would take “legal measures” against anyone found to be using cryptocurrencies for transactions in the country.
Since then, the bank has softened its stand on crypto and stated that Ethiopian laws could adopt cryptocurrencies in the future.
“But for now, they are not backed by the law, and the consumer should be wary of the risks of trading cryptocurrencies, “Solomon Desta,” vice governor at the National Bank of Ethiopia, told a local TV station at the time.
INSA’s latest announcement brings the issue back to the mainstream. The security agency forwarded crypto users to its website to find more information, fill out the necessary form, and register.
INSA has created a new page called “crypto registration” on its website. However, while all the other pages of the INSA site are freely accessible, the “crypto registration” page requires visitors to sign up just to see what the page looks like or read the stated “more information”.
To access it, users are required to fill in their full name, email address as well as a phone number. Though some people have reported that they registered earlier today, the site has stopped working for now.
Some of the information required to register as a crypto service provider include bank deposits, revenue, acquired land, information about mining machines, and willingness to be monitored.