Central Bank warns against cryptocurrency

The Central Bank of Samoa is warning against promoting and presenting cryptocurrency in Samoa without proper license from the Bank. 

This is in accordance with the recently passed amendments to the Money Laundering Prevention Act 2007, a statement from the Bank said.

“Any promoter of virtual currency who contravenes this Act is subject to an imprisonment term or penalty fine, or both an imprisonment term and a fine.” 

The bank is also reminding the public that cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, Onecoin, ethereum, EOS, Lite Coin etc. are not currencies issued or regulated by the bank. 

“They do not have any legal tender status to be accepted as a currency in Samoa. Investment in such digital currencies is considered very risky and speculative in nature,” said the statement. 

“People who invest in any of the cryptocurrencies do so at their own risk. There is no guarantee that cryptocurrencies will be accepted as a medium of exchange, or will hold their value. 

“The Central Bank does not currently endorse unregulated cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, Onecoin or any cryptocurrency that has been promoted in Samoa. Therefore, the Central bank does not encourage anyone to invest in any of them.” 

Any person who wishes to promote cryptocurrency or digital currency is considered under the Money Laundering Prevention Amendment Act 2018 as a Financial Institution, said the statement.  

“This means it must have a valid business licence issued in Samoa and is required to follow the Central Bank’s reporting requirements for Financial Institutions.

“The Central Bank has however acknowledged the potential use of blockchain and financial technology (FinTech), and is researching it as a platform for promoting financial inclusion in Samoa.” 

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