Nepal’s Telecom Regulator Wants ISPs to Ban Crypto Websites

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The telco regulator of Nepal has ordered internet and email service providers to restrict websites related to cryptocurrencies and the country’s telecoms regulator threatened legal retaliation against them. 

The Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA) issued a notification on January 8 ordering ISPs and email service providers to block access to “websites, apps, or online networks” associated with cryptocurrencies.

It confirmed that cryptocurrency transactions in the nation are prohibited and warned that digital money transactions “are increasing in recent days [translated]”.

In an announcement published in September 2021, Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), the nation’s central bank, deemed cryptocurrency trade and mining to be unlawful. Additionally, it is illegal to “encourage” anyone to utilize cryptocurrency.

Similar warnings about cryptocurrency websites were made by the NTA in April. The public was urged to contact the agency if they had any information “related to the name of such website, app, or online network.”

Although it did not demand a ban on access to crypto services at the time, the April notification nevertheless warned legal action if “anyone is found to have done or been doing” crypto-related activity.

Despite the fact that cryptocurrency is prohibited in the nation, a survey published in September by the blockchain data company Chainalysis found emerging nations, including Nepal, are leading the way in terms of adoption.

Regulators More Active Now than Ever

There is an urgent need for regulation in the ecosystem as a result of recent developments in the cryptocurrency sector. In fact, Sam Bankman Fried’s resignation and the collapse of FTX Derivative Exchange served as an eye-opener for many investors and regulators. 

Recently, the Financial Stability Board (FSB), a global financial authority, has made preparations to release regulations for cryptocurrencies in 2023. Additionally, Fabio Panetta, a member of the ECB‘s executive board, addressed a number of cryptocurrency-related topics in a blog post, including regulation and the use of a central bank digital currency (CBDC).

 

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