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Bitcoin in Bangladesh

The Bangladesh government seems to be on a failed mission to ban Bitcoin in Bangladesh. The Bangladesh Central Bank has issued a notice with a blanket ban on Bitcoin in the country. The notice states that ‘Bitcoin is not an authorised and legal currency in any country in the world.’ Incorrect as it is accepted as a legal currency in such countries as Japan and Sweden for example.

“Transaction with this currency may cause a violation of the existing money laundering and terrorist financing regulations,” says the notice.

Efforts to clamp down on Bitcoin usage include warnings to the citizens and financial institutions in Bangladesh that trading in Bitcoin is a crime and punishable.

An official from the Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) has stated that, “Banks and other financial organizations of the country have been ordered to maintain a strict vigil on cryptocurrency trading. A circular will soon be sent out detailing the matter,” adding “There is no way to purchase these currencies legally through banking channels. Cybercrime investigators are working on the matter.”

According to the Dhaka Tribune, investigators from the BFIU “have already begun to look for bitcoin traders,” with the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) allegedly aiding said investigations. Officials representing the BFIU and BTRC have held four meetings regarding cryptocurrency so far.

Nazmul Islam, the assistant deputy commissioner of Bangladesh’s cybercrime unit has stated “We have already located a few bitcoin users, and are on the hunt for more, along with a few web pages which are being checked for authenticity. Investigating cryptocurrency trading is a complex matter.” A high ranking official from Bangladesh’s central bank also indicated that the country’s Foreign Exchange Police Department, among other state institutions, is actively monitoring bitcoin – with a report soon expected to be delivered to the Ministry of Home Affairs regarding the impacts and potential policy ramifications of virtual currencies.

Despite this attempt to crack down on Bitcoin users the trading of Bitcoin in Bangladesh is still popular and continues to this day. Peer to peer buying and selling and phone exchanges are used and there is nothing to stop people buying and selling ‘off shore.’

Like S. Korea, Bangladesh has undergone a knee jerk reaction and quite likely Bangladesh, like S, Korea, will eventually perhaps relax its hard line stance and come to the party in the not too distant future.

This article will be updated as news unfolds. This article is for information purposes only and is not to be construed as financial information for any purposes such as investment or speculation and it is the responsibility of the reader to perform proper due diligence before acting upon any of the information provided. We recommend that you consult with a licensed, qualified investment advisor before making any investment decisions.