While the world embraces blockchain technology, there have been mixed reactions to the cryptocurrency in Zimbabwe, with senior Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe officials looking at it suspiciously. However, there are those who say that blockchain technology is the way to go. A Supreme Court judge this year lifted the ban on trade in cryptocurrencies, but while the cryptocurrency trader Golix could resume operations, the ban on banks and financial institutions not to deal with anything related to the blockchain is still valid . Business journalist Melody Chikono (MC) achieved with the Institute of Chartered Sectaries and Administrators (Icsaz) president of Harare, responsible for the portfolio of Smartvest and expert in investments in cryptocurrency, Michael Mautsahuku (MM, in the photo), to discuss this and other problems. Following are some steps of the interview:
MC: Give us an overview of the future of blockchain technology.
MM: The main features of blockchain technology is that it is a system that will be used to record transactions and that will not only affect the government, but everyone. Once a transaction has been registered, it becomes permanent. It will increase the integrity and transparency of the reporting system because the future of blockchain technology is that the servers are on the network and there is no single server where the information can be recorded and tampered with. It will be very important for all sectors, starting with the government as all information will be available and original. For the private sector and the institutions that will be mainly affected, I can not identify any, as all institutions will be affected.
MC: How will blockchain technology address the issue of corruption that is prevalent in the country?
MM: It will drastically reduce corruption. Where control is required it is on the integrity of the data input and, once established, nothing can happen to the data. Blockchain data can be used and anyone can access information, including directors and shareholders unlike the current situation where information comes from management and information is tampered with, but, with blockchain shareholders, consumers and everyone will see information.
MC: You recommended that the government adopt a digital currency. How sustainable is it in Zimbabwe?
MM: The main feature of cryptocurrencies in general is that they are not regulated and when they are unregulated it means that there are risks associated with things for which it can be used, so in terms of legislation from the government it will still have other features of cryptocurrencies, but the only difference is that this is issued by the state. If it is issued by the government, it will be credible; there will be no customary requirements and documents and there will also be no possibility for people to make money laundering, terrorist financing and other things that are not ethical.
MC: How do you see that you are facing the current economic crisis, in particular liquidity shortages?
MM: In cryptocurrencies, if you look at the bitcoin, the number of coins is known, it's 21 million. So the number is fixed, so it means there will be no inflation when all these units are exhausted and it will not be necessary for people to have a dreaded currency. It means that people will only make digital transactions.
We also have current problems where, for example, if you look at the agricultural sector, farmers are paid in hard currency by a certain amount and the rest is transferred (like real-time gross settlement). You will understand that money will lose value when it comes in through inflation. So, when cryptos are issued, this will reduce inflation. I would recommend that farmers, in particular tobacco, also use a digital currency throughout the country.
MC: In line with the blockchain technology, what can be said about the future of asset management in Zimbabwe?
MM: The future of asset management in Zimbabwe will be severely interrupted by artificial intelligence in which robots will replace people.
What this means is that all work for wealth managers or pensions will be absorbed by technology. The reason why we have pension managers, risk advisers, pension secretaries and so on is because there is no free flow of information on the market.
With adequate information, there can be no need for all these intermediaries who charge fees for a service that ultimately affects the recipient. So what will happen to the asset management business with blockchain is that there will be no need for any wealth managers, maybe one or two will not need any pension secretary because the main job is to link the managed asset sector to the contributors .
Then we also have a new industry called investment advisors, who advise companies that contribute to pension funds and also advise pension secretaries, their work is available only because they receive information that is not available to everyone and they transmit it. So it means that the industry is in grave danger due to blockchain and artificial intelligence.
When a company contributes to retirement, it can simply employ an IT engineer with investment knowledge and information on the structure of the portfolio, etc., are entered into the system. Because the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange is online, a computer can do everything that is done by wealth managers, pension secretaries and investment advisors.
Currently, if you look at the required qualification, the CFA (hired financial analyst) will realize that it has already changed its program and, starting from 2019, parts A and B will now include cryptocurrencies as an argument.
So, what would be required would be a CFA holder who has to do programs and must have one or two programming languages. However, it will be to the benefit of the pension recipient, but will largely impact employment.
MC: What are the main challenges faced by asset management companies in the country?
MM: In addition to the economic challenges facing the whole country, the industry is still gripped by governance problems and lack of knowledge. Usually there is a lack of knowledge among the trustees sitting at the blackboard.
However, the Zimbabwe Association of Pension Funds (Zapf) has introduced a certificate of competency that we believe will do much to address these issues.
Pension secretaries and general asset management do not have professionals like company secretaries who are accountable to a specific professional council. It is necessary to examine and discuss the problems of cooperative governance by educating the public to asset management.
In general, asset management companies and pension companies do not have professionals who are accountable to a given board and thus leaves a gap in governance issues. C & # 39; is the macro-economic environment. If the country is not doing well, people do not have access to the basic information they need.