Burundi has banned trading with digital currencies, citing lack of protection to the public in case of any losses.
The Bank of the Republic of Burundi, the country’s central bank, also made an official statement, declaring digital currencies as illegal tender.
“Since virtual currencies or cryptocurrencies are not regulated and are not issued or guaranteed by any Government or Central Bank, these currencies do not have legal tender in the territory of Burundi,” the central bank stated.
According to a Bloomberg report on Wednesday, the step was taken after some citizens of the African nation lost money while trading cryptocurrencies and asked the government to intervene to recover the losses.
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Warning citizens against crypto trading, Alfred Nyobewumusi, a director at the central bank’s micro-finance department, told the publication: “Strong measures could be taken against all those who will not respect this decision.”
Bitcoin and Onecoin – both fall in the same category
In the official notification, the central bank put digital currencies, including Bitcoin and Ethereum, in the same list with multi-billion dollar scam Onecoin and warned investors of partaking in such investments as no entity offering crypto-based investment products are authorized by it.
“These virtual currencies are traded on unregulated online platforms around the world, and their values are highly volatile, resulting in speculative transactions that expose the users of these currencies to potential losses without no possibility of legal recourse in the event of a collapse of their value or in case of closure of these cryptocurrency exchange platform,” the central bank added.
Contrary to Burundi, Rwanda’s central bank is considering to launch its own digital currency, Finance Magnates reported earlier. The bank, however, is facing some roadblocks with the technology and is currently studying the developments made by other central banks in countries like Canada, Singapore, and the Netherlands in the arena of blockchain technology.