Central Bank Cautions Public on Digital Currencies

Bitcoin (virtual currency) coins placed on dollar banknotes are seen in this illustration picture on November 6, 2017. / Reuters

By Nan Lwin 3 May 2019

YANGON—The Central Bank of Myanmar warned against the use and trade of digital currencies and cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, saying the buying, selling or exchange of digital currency can lead to losses on the consumer’s side.

On Friday, the Central Bank released a statement saying it is the sole issuer and supervisor of the domestic currency after a series of scams targeted people who lack experience and understanding of cryptocurrencies.

Digital currencies, including cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC), Ethereum (ETH) and Perfect Money (PM), are being traded on personal Facebook accounts and websites and used as payments for individual use or services, the Central Bank said.

The Central Bank have not authorized the use of digital currencies, nor do they allow any organization to the trade in cryptocurrencies or digital currencies in Myanmar.

Cryptocurrencies are virtual currencies that do not exist in a physical form. They are not backed or regulated by any central bank. The decentralized control of each cryptocurrency relies on distributed ledger technology, typically a blockchain, that serves as a public financial transaction database.

Myanmar has no specific mechanism or legal framework to regulate cryptocurrencies. However, the coins’ promoters have introduced various ways to invest in them.

U Than Lwin, senior advisor to Kanbawza Bank Ltd (KBZ) and former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Myanmar, told The Irrawaddy there are three main reason why investing in cryptocurrencies should be avoided—the volatility of crypto markets, the difficulty in taking legal action in cases involving the currencies and the lack of consumer protection.

“The price is unstable all the time. Trading cryptocurrencies could result in losing everything you invested in them. It’s like…

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