For the past few weeks, the RBZ has been waging a war against the foreign currency black market. It has targeted businesses, black market traders and now a rate tracking site. MarketWatch was one of the first sites to publicly keep track of black market rates. Now the site is unavailable at the moment and it seems like the RBZ is taking credit for it going offline.
In an interview with Bloomberg, RBZ governor John Mangudya said the site had been ordered to shut down. He is also on record for saying the operation of the site was a cybercrime and questioned how the rates displayed on the site were determined. The thing though is that MarketWatch always said the rates were obtained from the streets and other sources with their ear in the black market community.
This isn’t the first time that MarketWatch has butted heads with the authorities. Last year the site was ordered to stop listing black market exchange rates during a rate spike. It seems at some point the authorities either relented or simply decided to let the matter go. This latest development is an escalation though as the site has never been shut down before. It’s also not clear how the shutdown was implemented or whether the site will ever come back online.
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