Nepal’s Banking Institutions: “Crypto Is Illegal”

Nepal’s Banking Body Issues Crypto Ban Notice

According to The Himalayan, the Nepal Bankers’ Association recently issued a notice stating that individuals were prohibited from indulging in cryptocurrency activities. The notice covers Nepalis and foreigners living in Nepal, as well as Nepalis living abroad.

An excerpt from the Association reads:

“In the context of crypto/virtual currency not getting recognition in Nepal as a foreign exchange or currency, action would be taken as per the existing laws if the Nepali and foreign citizens living in Nepal and the Nepalis residing in foreign countries are found involved in such activities and transaction since carrying out transactions being linked to illegal financial tools including crypto/virtual and network marketing result in the general public being cheated and the flight of domestic capital as money goes out by illegal means”

The latest warning comes days after Nepal’s central bank, Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) made a similar warning against cryptocurrency. TNRB has continued to rail against the proliferation of virtual currencies in the country. Nepal is among a select group of countries where crypto is completely banned. Other nations on the list include Morocco, Bolivia, Egypt, and Algeria.

Nepalis believed to be involved in cryptocurrencies have come under investigation and punishment in the landlocked communist nation. Critics of the ban have accused the Nepalese establishment of acting without a full understanding of the benefits cryptocurrencies could bring to a largely impoverished nation like Nepal, which ranks as one of the poorest countries in Asia.

Tightening Crypto Policies in Asia

The call by the Nepalese banking body is the latest anti-crypto rhetoric coming out of Asia. In December, Thailand announced plans to introduce crypto regulations, hoping to significantly limit the adoption of virtual currencies in the country.

At the start of the New Year, Pakistan’s central bank called for a total ban on cryptocurrencies. Even more recently, Russia’s Central Bank urged the government to enact a blanket crypto ban despite the country’s President, Vladimir Putin, favoring merely to regulate sectors such as cryptocurrency mining.

The global financial elite has remained firmly against cryptocurrencies while advocating for central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). Central banks across the world are currently in different stages of studying or developing national digital currencies as a means of curtailing the adoption of privately-issued stablecoins and other cryptocurrencies.

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) has been promoting the benefits of CBDCs, stating that they offer better advantages compared to private cryptocurrencies. Meanwhile, the BIS has been involved in different CBDC research projects with various central banks. Earlier this week, the BIS Innovation Hub revealed that its 2022 research work would focus on CBDCs and decentralized finance (DeFi).

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