The Bank of the Republic of Burundi has banned cryptocurrency trading in the country, according to a recent Bloomberg report. The central bank’s decision was in response to public requests to intervene from citizens who suffered losses from digital currency trading.
A central bank micro-finance department director, Alfred Nyobewumusi, reportedly confirmed that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and others are now considered illegal. In a recent interview, he noted that, “Strong measures could be taken against all those who will not respect this decision.”
The central bank outlined its reasoning in a statement that expressed concern about the existence of unauthorized cryptocurrency investments and efforts to commercialize digital assets in Burundi. The bank described Bitcoin, Litecoin, and other digital currencies as “means of payment not regulated by any Monetary Authority.”
The statement noted that cryptocurrency values remain volatile, trading is speculative, and users have no legal recourse for losses suffered when prices collapse, or digital currency exchanges simply go out of business. Because they remain unregulated, the digital assets are not considered legal tender within Burundi. The bank also advised Burundi citizens to exercise caution when investing or engaging in any financial transaction:
In this regard, the Bank of the Republic of Burundi reminds the general public that no entity or financial institution is currently authorized to offer remittance or other payment services using a virtual currency such as Bitcoin, Ether , Litecoin, Dogecion, Onecoin, BTC, Coin Coin Fahari, Ello Cash Coin and other similar products. The public is advised to exercise caution and ensure that their investments or any other financial transaction is made by credible depository financial institutions duly authorized by the Central Bank.