Central Bank Warns Local Bitcoin Users

Jamaica’s Central Bank has issued a warning to local users of virtual currencies such as Bitcoin.

In a statement today, the Bank of Jamaica, BOJ, says it’s aware of reports of investments in virtual currencies and the use of these types of instruments for the settlement of economic transactions.

In light of these reports, the BOJ is advising the public to exercise caution in the use of virtual currencies, otherwise called cryptocurrencies, given the associated risks and the absence of appropriate governance and consumer protection arrangements.

The central bank says virtual currencies are not legal tender in Jamaica.

Therefore, it says transactions in virtual currencies are susceptible to abuse by criminals and may facilitate money laundering as well as the financing of terrorism.

The Central Bank also says it neither issues nor backs virtual currencies as they are not foreign currencies with monetary authorities that issues or backs them.

The BOJ says it does not regulate or supervise virtual currencies and hasn’t authorized any entity to operate a virtual currency platform.

The Central Bank also says it will continue to closely monitor the evolution and potential implications of virtual currencies.

It says regulatory strategies will be pursued where appropriate and the requisite advisories issued, if necessary.

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