According to a report by The Myanmar Times, published May 20, 2019, the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) has warned investors against trading in cryptocurrencies due to their volatile nature.
The Burmese Apex Bank Issues an Anti-Crypto Warning
Aiming to safeguard novice investors from the volatile nature of digital currencies, the CBM earlier has issued a warning stating that it does not recognize cryptocurrencies as legal tender and that financial institutions in the country are not allowed to facilitate transactions involving the same.
The country’s financial experts opine that retail investment in cryptocurrencies has been on a steady rise ever since they broke into mainstream news during their historic bull run towards the end of 2017.
At its peak, bitcoin touched an astronomical value of approximately $19,500 which was soon followed by similar bullish traction in altcoins. However, exit scams and fraudulent crypto projects were quick to capitalize on the hysteria, which resulted in oblivious investors doing away with their money.
The report adds that the absence of large exchange platforms and crypto research firms in the country has made it even more challenging for regulatory bodies to keep track of digital currency transactions data daily.
The Future Looks Uncertain
The latest announcement by the CBM has added to the ambiguity surrounding the fate of cryptocurrencies. It’s worth noting that the apex bank has not yet put a blanket ban on cryptocurrency trading. It has, however, barred the country’s banks and financial institutions from entertaining transactions related to digital currencies which could, in the long run, be reason enough to stifle the growth of Myanmar’s crypto ecosystem.
At present, a total of 17 countries, including the likes of the U.S., Singapore, Japan, Germany, and Switzerland, officially permit transactions in cryptocurrencies. Further, countries like Hong Kong and Thailand are taking proactive measures to assess the risks and advantages of crypto assets and accordingly, draft regulations to govern their respective crypto industries.
U Nyein Chan Soe Win, a fintech expert and CEO of Get Myanmar, told the Myanmar Times that as no existing law prohibits the exchange of digital currencies, it can’t be said for sure that trading cryptocurrencies is illegal. He added:
“Before making crypto illegal, its impact on the local currency and compatibility with existing policies should first be analyzed and discussed.”
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