Nepal Shuts Down Crypto Websites, Apps — Warns About Engaging in Crypto Activities

The Nepal Telecommunications Authority has issued a warning that crypto activities are illegal. The regulator emphasized that websites, apps, and online networks related to crypto activities are prohibited to be used, operated, or managed within the country.

Nepalese Regulator’s Crypto Warning

Nepal’s regulator of the technology sector, the Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA), issued a notice Monday warning the public about engaging in illegal activities, specifically naming cryptocurrency, bitcoin, and online gambling.

Noting that transactions using digital technologies, such as cryptocurrency, have been on the rise in Nepal, the NTA stressed that websites, apps, and online networks related to crypto activities are prohibited to be used, operated, or managed within the country.

The regulator proceeded to warn the public that activities involving cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, are “illegal and criminal,” elaborating:

If anyone is found to be doing or have done such activities, action will be taken according to the prevailing law.

In March, at the request of the country’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, the NTA directed 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 the trading of cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, has increased economic crime in the country.

Surya Prasad Lamichhane, NTA’s deputy director, was quoted as saying:

The government has directed [us] to shut down the apps after carrying out an investigation.

The Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) of Nepal Police has also arrested and taken action against some people carrying out crypto business.

The Nepal Rastra Bank, the country’s central bank, issued a directive earlier this year banning all Nepali nationals and non-nationals living in the country from buying and investing in cryptocurrencies. The central bank cited increased fraud risk and illegal outflow of domestic capital as the key reasons.

The Nepalese central bank explained on its website:

Cryptocurrencies including bitcoin cannot be traded in Nepal. Doing so is illegal.

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Kevin Helms

A student of Austrian Economics, Kevin found Bitcoin in 2011 and has been an evangelist ever since. His interests lie in Bitcoin security, open-source systems, network effects and the intersection between economics and cryptography.

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