Nepal’s Bitsewa digital currency exchange announced this week that it would be shutting down its operations, after the Nepal Rastra Bank issued a Bitcoin Ban Notice. The company made the announcement on its website and in a lengthy Facebook post to its customers. Bitsewa cited the NRB ban and the recent arrest of seven Bitcoin exchange operators, while asserting that the company had always been committed to following all relevant laws.
“We made a platform where users can instantly and securely buy bitcoins while still following KYC to prevent illegal activities. We worked very hard to bring this revolutionary technology in Nepal but it turns out our government have a very different plan altogether and doesn't want this technology in the hands of Nepalese citizen. Bitcoin is flourishing in countries like Japan, Korea, India, US and others. While we live in a country where Bitcoin is labeled ‘Illegal’ and seen as a threat to the economy.
We have no choice but to come to an end when we just barely started to take off. We have decided to officially shutdown Bitsewa as per the official Bitcoin Ban Notice published by NRB.”
The company also announced that it had deleted user information from the Bitsewa servers, and instructed customers to transfer their Bitcoins from Bitsewa wallets to other Bitcoin wallets. In addition, the company promised to refund its customers' exchange balances to their individual bank accounts by the coming weekend.
Last week, seven people were apprehended by the police after being suspected of operating bitcoin exchanges inside Nepal. The Central Investigation Bureau has reportedly confirmed that the suspects were from Chitwan and Kathmandu, and that these are the first Bitcoin-related arrests in Nepal. The suspects could face heavy fines and up to three years in jail if convicted.