Samoas’s Central Bank has informed its citizens that individuals who benefit from cryptocurrency will receive the same treatment as financial institutions. As reported by the Central Bank of Samoa, cryptocurrency promoters will be obligated to follow the country’s existing legislation concerning money laundering. That being so, those cryptocurrency promoters will be expected to acquire the necessary licenses as well as follow the reporting requirements, similar to every other financial institution.
The press release said; “…any person who wishes to promote Cryptocurrency or Digital currency is considered under the Money Laundering prevention Amendment Act 2018 as a Financial Institution,” and continued; “This means it must have a valid business license issued in Samoa and is required to follow the Central Bank’s reporting requirements for Financial Institutions.”
Not a Legal Currency
On the other hand, the Central Bank of Samoa (CBS) also reminded that cryptocurrencies do not provide a legal status comparative to legal tender on the island and investors must be aware of the potential risks before buying.
“People who invest in any of the cryptocurrencies do so at their own risk,” stated the CBS. “There is no guarantee that cryptocurrencies will be accepted as a medium of exchange or will hold their value.”
Although CBS is deterring the cryptocurrency, it is not underestimating the power of blockchain technology –especially in the financial sector. In addition to that, the nation is exploring more of the blockchain platform for sake of promoting financial inclusion.
The negative approach towards cryptocurrency form CBS is not new. Four months ago, the reserve bank of the Polynesian nation blocked all foreign exchange activities, including Oncecoin cryptocurrency. “This also ensures the protection of Samoa’s foreign currency reserves, which is at risk due to the high number of people wanting to remit money overseas for this get rich quick scheme,” the CBS stated.
CBS is not the only one in the Asia-Pacific region who takes an anti-cryptocurrency stance. According to CCN, the Bank of Laos has also recently made an anti-cryptocurrency statement, declaring that they cannot be included in the same category as currencies.
Author: Berna Bayindir
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