Brunei's central bank advises caution over cryptocurrencies

Source: Xinhua| 2017-12-24 00:11:00|Editor: Chengcheng
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BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Dec. 23 (Xinhua) -- In light of the recent rise in popularity of cryptocurrencies globally, Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam (AMBD), Brunei's central bank, on Saturday advised the public to be vigilant and exercise extreme caution when dealing with such currencies that are privately issued.

In a statement, the monetary regulator of the sultanate said it is highly concerned about the proliferation of cryptocurrencies globally, reminding the public that "cryptocurrencies are not legal tender in Brunei Darussalam and are not regulated by AMBD."

AMBD said that cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and Ether, are forms of digital currencies which operate independently from monetary authorities or central banks.

"Cryptocurrency transactions are anonymous and are often traded on platforms of unknown jurisdictions in which the authenticity of its operators are difficult to verify."

"Cryptocurrency is also susceptible to being misused as intermediary for illegal activities. It is also highly vulnerable to cybersecurity risks as evidenced by several high profile thefts involving the hacking of organisations in the cryptocurrency network," AMBD said.

The recent rapid escalation in the value of certain cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, is driven by high speculation and there is no clear sense of the fundamental value of these cryptocurrencies, the central bank said.

The risk of losing its value is high and without any regulatory safeguards, members of the public are not protected under the laws administered by AMBD, it added.

The international communities should remain vigilant and AMBD will continue to closely monitor the development of issues surrounding cryptocurrencies, the bank suggested.