Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) bans commercial banks from using digital currencies

In its most drastic move on the matter, the CBM has banned the use of digital currencies (such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Perfect Money) and other currencies of a similar nature in the country. It stated that it doesn’t recognize digital currencies as legal tender. It further banned all commercial banks from accepting or facilitating transactions made in digital currencies. The CBM warned that anyone who trades in digital currencies stands facing heavy penalties including imprisonment and heavy fines.

However, the announcement appears to have had little to no effect on the country’s digital asset fan base. Nyein Chan Soe, founder and Chief Executive of Get Myanmar, a digital commerce platform, said “The CBM has not prohibited the use of cryptocurrencies under the law. It has just issued an announcement. As there is no official law, it can’t be said that trading in digital currencies is illegal.”

In 2019, the watchdog had warned the public against trading in digital currencies, terming them a ‘risky investment’. The lack of regulations, price volatility and highly publicized scams in the entire region were some of the reasons the regulator cited.

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