Laos Central Bank has issued a notice warning the public against cryptocurrency trading and their use in payments.
In a notice [PDF] dated August 29, Bank of Laos (BOL) said that the public was warned against the use of "unregulated" cryptocurrencies, specifically naming Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin as examples . Speaking to merchants, traders and residents, the notice also urged citizens to research and understand any digital heritage. The warning warned against buying and selling, or trading digital goods, talking about the risks in investments related to the crypt.
According to the Laotian Times, the central bank referred to the current Payment Systems Act (last revision in November 2017) which refutes cryptocurrencies as payment instruments after stating that they do not meet the standards required for classification as a currency.
At present, the law of Laos does not recognize any cryptocurrency nor is it regulated by any legislation of the country
Still, companies in the country "have already started accepting payment for goods and services in cryptocurrencies" , added the report.
A senior central bank official tried to distinguish cryptocurrencies from legal currencies, telling the Vientiane Times:
"It is not [a] a real currency like the Lao kip or the Thai baht, because it's not in able to pay the debt.It is a digital record of a transaction.It is not yet regulated by law.People who are involved in the use of cryptocurrencies run risks if the digital system fails. "
public notice, which intends to warn the Laos citizens of the risks in investments in cryptocurrency, there is no explicit prohibition on the trading of cryptocurrency on the national territory.
The neighbor of Laos in the east, Vietnam, has taken a more hostile approach to regulating cryptocurrencies in recent times. In October 2017, the central bank of Vietnam issued a notice that effectively outlawed cryptocurrency payments in the country. Legislation in this sense came into force at the end of 2018, in which adoptive bitcoins could withstand fines of up to $ 9,000 and criminal proceedings. Vietnam has also moved to suspend imports of cryptocurrency miners in the country.
Laos would do well to take a cue from Thailand, its other neighbor. Recognizing the potential of the cryptocurrency markets and initial fundraising of coin offerings (ICOs), the Thai securities regulator issued ICO regulations in July, approving in particular seven cryptocurrencies for traders to receive payments. They are: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum Classic, Stellar and Litecoin.
As Thailand's largest film chain begins to accept cryptocurrencies as seats and popcorn payments on 600 screens nationwide, the country's securities companies are also exploring the possibility of establishing and managing a joint cryptocurrency exchange in Bangkok.
Image of Laos banknotes from Shutterstock.
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