The Telecom Authority of Nepal has issued a warning that crypto activities are illegal. The regulator emphasized that it is prohibited to use, operate or manage websites, apps and online networks related to crypto activities within the country.

Crypto Warning from Nepal Regulatory Authority

Nepal’s regulator of the technology sector, the Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA), issued a notice on Monday warning the public about illegal activities, particularly related to cryptocurrency, bitcoin and online gambling.

Noting that transactions using digital technologies such as cryptocurrencies are on the rise in Nepal, the NTA emphasized that websites, apps and online networks related to crypto-related activities must not be used, operated or managed within the country.

The regulator warned the public that activities involving cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, are “illegal and criminal,” stating:

If it is determined that someone is engaging in or has engaged in such activities, action will be taken in accordance with applicable law.

In March, at the request of the country’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, the NTA ordered internet service providers (ISPs) to shut down all crypto trading websites and apps. They are now disabled and blacklisted, the regulator stressed.

The ministry reportedly told the NTA that trading in cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, has increased white-collar crime in the country.

Surya Prasad Lamichhane, Deputy Director of NTA, was quoted as saying:

The government has ordered [us] close the apps after conducting an investigation.

The Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) of the Nepalese police has also arrested and taken action on some people doing crypto trades.

Nepal Rastra Bank, the country’s central bank, issued a policy earlier this year banning all Nepalese nationals and foreigners residing in the country from buying and investing in cryptocurrencies. The central bank cited the increased risk of fraud and the illegal outflow of domestic capital as the main reasons.

The Central Bank of Nepal stated on its website:

Cryptocurrencies including bitcoin cannot be traded in Nepal. This is illegal.

What do you think of Nepal shutting down crypto websites and apps? Let us know in the comment section below.

Kevin Helms

As an Austrian economics student, Kevin discovered Bitcoin in 2011 and has been an evangelist ever since. His interests lie in Bitcoin security, open source systems, network effects and the interface between economics and cryptography.

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