The Bolivian central bank has moved to “ban” the use of crypto in the nation – and has issued warnings about what it perceives to be the “risks” involved with investing in cryptoassets such as bitcoin (BTC).
According to the Telam news agency, the Banco Central de Bolivia (BCB) has issued a “prohibition” on crypto in the country and “warned that users of these digital securities” could be in line to experience financial losses or fall victim to “scams” – as they are “not trustworthy” in nature.
The bank said, in an official statement:
“As cryptoassets are not a legal tender in [Bolivia], the BCB prohibits their use, as well as their commercialization and [purchase], because they [incur] potential risks of generating economic losses to their operators and holders.”
Although the BCB does not seem to have attempted to criminalize holding or trading crypto, it appears keen to shut the door on all businesses and brokers seeking to provide crypto-related services in Bolivia.
The bank explained:
“Private initiatives related to the use and commercialization of […] cryptoassets may not be operated through the Bolivian financial system. They do not operate with the authorization of the BCB or the [regulatory] Financial System Supervision Authority.”
The BCB added a further warning about the dangers of investing in crypto projects and justified its move, stating that its “ban” would “protects against risk, fraud, and scams” that ordinary Bolivians might otherwise be exposed to.
The bank has lashed out at crypto before. Back in December 2020, in the wake of that year’s general election, it issued a resolution aiming to “prohibit the use of cryptoassets in the domestic market.”
This warning appears to have fallen on deaf ears, however, with multiple media outlets noting that social media campaigns promoting crypto-related services had been circulating in the country in the months since its announcement.