The Central Bank of Burundi has put out a cautionary statement warning the public that virtual currencies are not authorized to offer remittance and other payment services.
In part, the statement reads:
“Since virtual currencies or cryptocurrencies are not regulated and are not issued or guaranteed by any Government or Central Bank, these currencies do not have legal tender in the territory of Burundi.”
The statement lists specific currencies such as Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Onecoin, BTC, Coin Coin Fahari and Ello Cash Coin as examples of virtual currencies that the public should be wary of.
The warning comes after the Burundi Central Bank was alerted to the existence of investment activity and commercialization of crypto currencies in the country. It is reported that some Burundians lost some undisclosed amounts of money while trading virtual currencies and requested the government for intervention.
As a result, Alfred Nyobewumusi, Director, Central Bank of Burundi, Micro-finance department, has warned:
“Strong measures could be taken against all those who will not respect this decision.”
Burundi is not the first African Central Bank and regulatory authority to outrightly come out and speak against cryptocurrencies. Recently, regulators in Egypt, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia have put out statements in this regard.
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