Posted in: Archive
October 17, 2018 7:32 AM UTC

Maldives’ Central Bank Denies Issuing Permits for Crypto Transactions

The central bank of the Maldives has warned citizens to be wary of advertisements appearing on social media platforms relating to the trading of cryptocurrencies.

In a press release, the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) cautioned members of the public against transacting in cryptocurrencies pointing out that it was the only agency responsible for licensing money exchange business and international as well as domestic money-remittance firms.

According to the central bank of Asia’s smallest country by both area and population, no permit has been issued to any organization authorizing the use of cryptocurrencies in conducting financial transactions.

“…no party has been granted permission to conduct any financial transactions using cryptocurrencies or other virtual currencies in the Maldives. Furthermore, the issuance of any legal tender by any other party is against the law,” wrote the Maldives Monetary Authority in a statement.

A Growing List

With regards to central banks that have taken an anti-cryptocurrency stance in the recent past, the Maldives Monetary Authority has plenty of company. Just this week, Zambia’s central bank, the Bank of Zambia (BoZ), stated that cryptocurrencies were not legal tender in the Southern African country and warned that Zambians engaging in trading or transacting in digital assets were doing so at their own risk.

“Cryptocurrencies are not legal tender in the Republic of Zambia; Secondly, BoZ does not oversee, supervise nor regulate the cryptocurrency landscape,” read a statement from the BoZ as CCN recently reported. “Consequently, any and all activities related to the buying, trading or usage of cryptocurrencies are performed at owner’s risk.”

Last month, the central bank of the world’s second largest economy, the People’s Bank of China, put out a public notice urging investors to avoid speculating in cryptocurrencies and overseas-issued Initial Coin Offerings. Despite a ban on all ICOs, trading in cryptocurrencies in mainland China has persisted as domestic investors have flocked to offshore exchanges.

Same Script, Different Jurisdiction

Other reserve banks which have taken an anti-cryptocurrency stance include the Central Bank of Samoa and the Bank of Laos. In the island nation of Samoa, the country’s central bank has not only stated that cryptocurrencies do not possess a legal tender status but has gone ahead to require promoters of cryptocurrencies to acquire the same licenses as financial institutions. The Bank of Laos, on the other hand, has also equally cautioned against trading in digital assets.

Not all central banks have taken a harsh stance on cryptocurrencies though and some have initiated efforts that are supportive of the sector. For instance, the Monetary Authority of Singapore recently indicated that it would assist domestic cryptocurrency exchanges and other crypto startups access banking services as a way of fostering the country’s fintech sector.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Last modified: May 20, 2020 5:08 PM UTC

Mark Emem @wetalkmarkets

I cover business and the stock market for CCN. Currently based out of Nairobi, Kenya. Feel free to get in touch with me. Email: wetalkmarkets[at]