The National Bank of the Kyrgyz Republic released a statement deeming Bitcoin and other digital currencies illegal in Kyrgyzstan.
The bank issued statement mentions Bitcoin and its fellow digital currencies like Litecoin and Dogecoin as non-legal tender, and goes on to mention the only currency legally accepted in Kyrgyzstan is KGS ,the local currency.
“Under the legislation of the Kyrgyz Republic, the sole legal tender on the territory of our country is the national currency of Kyrgyzstan som. The use of ‘virtual currency’, bitcoins, in particular, as a means of payment in the Kyrgyz Republic will be a violation of the law of our state.”
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In addition to the Bitcoin illegality, a warning was also issued. The warning focuses, as with many countries that decide to warn on digital-currencies, on the risk of obtaining digital currencies, and the volatility associated to them. Mentioned were the inability to cancel or chargeback a completed transaction, and the fact the government cannot be made responsible for any related thefts.
As no digital currencies are regulated in the region, there is the chance users may fall under legal liability and criminal charges may incur.
The news may not be as earth shattering as expected. Recent findings show the popular Bitcoin-Qt wallet was only downloaded around 1,000 times in Kyrgyzstan, showing it has yet to reach mainstream.
It is interesting that the majority of news related to digital currencies and Bitcoin in general have been for the growing adoption of Bitcoin. The news of illegality along other firms taking a stand against Bitcoin shows a step back.