Like neighboring India, Bangladesh Bank on Monday urged all concerned to refrain from trading of ‘Bitcoin’ or any sort of artificial currency. Earlier this year the Reserve Bank of India issued a similar warning against the Bitcoin users. The popularity of the digital currency has gained momentum in the last one year and this decision may hamper the growth.
Now, with the latest statement Bangladesh’s central bank has made it clear that anybody caught using the virtual currency could be jailed under the country’s strict anti-money laundering laws. The draconian measure by the government agency has scared hundreds of users who have been doing Bitcoin transactions, particularly, receiving money from abroad.
The Bangladesh Bank, which regulates the impoverished country’s banking industry, decided to take action against the Bitcoin users as it realizes that Bitcoin is not a legal tender of any country. The agency says that any transaction through Bitcoin or any other crypto currency is a punishable offence.
Bitcoin is Not a Legal Tender
As has been held by various central banks around the world, even the Reserve Bank of Bangladesh says that Bitcoin is not a legal tender and that way it cannot be considered a safe and secure way that can be used for transactions. It said it issued the order after reports in the local media of Bitcoin transactions through various online exchange platforms.
In their interaction with the press, the bank officials said that anyone found guilty in Bangladesh of using Bitcoin could be sentenced to up to 12 years in jail. The country has strict anti-money laundering laws, which according to the bank officials can be used against those who would not follow the warning issued.
The Reserve Bank of Bangladesh says that trading of such currency will be a violation of the Foreign Exchange Control Act 1947 and the Money Laundering Act 2012. In such a situation, the Bangladesh Bank is requesting people to refrain from trading of such currency to avert a financial and legal risk, said the central bank circular.
The circular issued by the central bank says that trading of online-based ‘crypto currency’ Bitcoin through different exchange platforms has come to the knowledge of the central bank through some media reports and it must stop. Also, as Bitcoin is not a legal tender issued by any country, there is no legality behind it.
To contact the reporter of this story: Deepak Tiwari at firstname.lastname@example.org