The popularity of cryptocurrency has been on a rise since the valuation of Bitcoin surged 48,22,525% in 12 years from its initial valuation of $1 in 2009. To start with, cryptocurrency is a digital currency used to trade, as traditional currencies would, but uses online ledgers with coding to ensure transactions online.
The decentralized form of currency has spread like wildfire as grew to be more and more valuable over the years. With the boom of Bitcoin, cryptocurrency billionaires rose and the interest of people regarding the decentralized forms of currency rose, consequently cryptocurrencies are worth billions of dollars today.
Cryptocurrency uses a decentralized technology called blockchain that spreads across many devices managing and recording transactions. The appeal of this technology is its security, however the concept of cryptocurrency is fairly new to the world causing regulation regarding digital currency mostly unsupervised. The unregulated aspect of digital currencies has gained much interest with spectators driving prices upwards at times which has led to trade for profit.
Cryptocurrencies have taken by storm since Bitcoin was created. Within 12 years 1,600 digital currency have been created making spectators in awe of the future it may hold. Cryptocurrency goes beyond the tradition trade system, it eliminates middlemen in financial transactions. Imagine financial transactions without the involvement of banks that often regulates your transactions while claiming portions of the transaction.
Transactions using cryptocurrency are just under account numbers, not under a person’s identity. With cryptocurrencies, all of your transactions will directly reach its destination saving time and money all while you are in full control of where and how your finances are utilized. All while your privacy is respected. The use of digital currency ensures anonymity which charms users. Where you wish to spend your finances can be a secret which remains with you when using cryptocurrency. However, with the anonymous aspect of digital currencies, the aspect of crime and illegal trade emerges due to which many nations are hostile towards its use.
Latin American banks including central banks, are now taking advantage of the cryptocurrency boom which has opened gates for the creation of their own digital fiat currency. Likewise, nations in almost all continents have legalized digital currency, yet they do not quite advise the use of cryptocurrency. In other cases, nations have absolute ban on cryptocurrency which includes China, Bangladesh, Morocco, Egypt, are a few to name including Nepal.
Cryptocurrency in Nepal
Cryptocurrency may be gaining popularity as a decentralized form of currency which can purchase a number of goods and services such as airlines tickets, websites, and even a trip to space with Virgin Galactics, among others all over the globe, but in Nepal, cryptocurrencies are considered to be illegal. Nepal Rastra bank had issued a ban on Bitcoins (and other cryptocurrency) on August 13, 2017. The reason for the absolute ban has been deemed to be the Foreign Exchange Act 2019 BS and the Nepal Rastra Bank Act 2058 BS which surprising do not hold research based facts to restrict decentralized forms of currency. However, debates on the legality of cryptocurrency among policymakers continue.
The hostility towards cryptocurrency and its trade had been met with arrests previously. In October 2017, the Central Investigation Berea (CIB) had arrested seven individuals under the charges of operating bitcoin exchange operations in Nepal. The suspects were said to haves faced fines and prison time of approximately 3 years.
On another note, when taking a look at other policies the government of Nepal and its regulators have taken regarding non-traditional concepts, we see that the law initially shows hostility, but later on restrictions slacken. For instance the law announced ride-sharing platforms to be illegal, but with time the restrictions on these platforms have relaxed and are now widely popular among all demographics today.
As of 2020, Nepal has a few sites to purchase Bitcoins and other digital currency which include CEX.IO, Coinmama, Altcoin, Etoro, Bitsewa among others. The Nepalese law has not yet banned such exchange sites. So, it would be safe to say with time, leniency regarding cryptocurrency laws has also been seen.
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