Nepal Issues Warning; Shuts Access To Crypto Gambling And Other Apps
The Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) stated that cryptocurrency activities or related activities shall be considered unlawful in Nepal.
Nepal’s regulator of the technology sector issued this warning to the public that engaging in illegal activities, specifically related to cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, and gambling will have legal consequences.
Along with NTA, Nepal’s Central Bank, Nepal Rastra also issued a formal instruction that stated a prohibition sale and purchase of cryptocurrency.
Keeping in mind that transactions with the help of digital assets have been on an alleged rise in Nepal, the Central Bank has spoken about the risks of fraud and illegitimate inflow of capital being the main reason behind such a step.
NTA emphasized that all sorts of crypto-related activities are prohibited to be used, operated, or managed within the country. The regulator further stated,
If anyone is found to be doing or have done such activities, action will be taken according to the prevailing law.
Ministry of Communications And Information Technology Had Directed Crypto Trading Websites To Shut Down
This March, after the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, passed a directive to cease all crypto-related websites, the NTA followed through.
Currently, all such websites are disabled and blacklisted.
This directive was followed after Nepal supposedly registered more economic crimes happening in the country.
NTA’s deputy director, Surya Prasad Lamichhane has stated,
The government has directed [us] to shut down the apps after carrying out an investigation.
The Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) of Nepal has also arrested a few people and has also taken legal actions against some who have been involved in crypto businesses.
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The Reason Behind The Crypto Ban Is Because Of A Decline In Remittance Inflow?
The Nepal Rastra Bank had earlier issued a legal notice that stated the ban on Nepali Nationals and Non-Nepali Nationals residing in the country to stop purchasing and investing in cryptocurrencies.
Many Nepalis allegedly living in the country and abroad have been transacting in digital assets.
Due to this investment, the remittance inflow has been nosediving in the country. The key reasons, therefore, remain online fraud on the rise and an increased domestic capital outflow.
The NTA has now clamped down on the operation of all virtual currencies, and it further mentioned that this is the first step towards a broader regulatory framework that’s underway for digital asset-related activities.
Nepalese citizens will continue to remain under tight scrutiny as the NTA has decided to partner with the CIB of Nepal to track such businesses and individuals that continue to indulge in activities related to digital assets even after a warning has been issued as a public service announcement.
The NTA has been proactively making a list of crypto websites and apps that they have been tracking and wanting to ban in the past and now, they have finally taken enforcement actions against the same.
Related Reading | Bank of Russia Maintains Crypto Ban Stance As It Begins To Test Country’s CBDC
Featured image from UnSplash, chart from TradingView.com