sign at entrance to Bank of the Lao P.D.R. building

Laos Bank Issues A Warning To Citizens In Response To A Growing Interest In Crypto

Sep 4, 2018, 8:22AM
1 min, 42 sec READ

The small SE Asian nation of Laos is fostering a growing interest in crypto markets, and the nation's central bank is now expressing its concern.

The Central Bank of Laos (BOL) has released a public notice warning citizens of the potential dangers of using cryptocurrencies. The August 29 notice urges businesses, investors and citizens to educate themselves to better understand the nature of “unregulated” cryptocurrencies before choosing to trade or invest with the technology.

Directly referencing Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin, the notice reminds residents that cryptocurrencies are not recognized as legal currencies in the eyes of Laotian regulators. Furthermore, the notice specifically mentions the risk of blindly following advertisements promoting the trade or sale of crypto, and reminds residents to think critically before transacting with digital currencies.

According to the Vientiane Times, Laos’ largest circulating newspaper, a senior BOL official has said the notice is meant as an informal bulletin to be used for informational purposes, rather than a direct ban or restriction on cryptocurrency usage within Laos,

[Cryptocurrency] is not real currency like Lao kip or Thai baht, because it is unable to pay debt. It is a digital record of a transaction. It is not yet regulated by law. People who get involved in the use of cryptocurrencies are taking risks if the digital system fails [...] there is no legitimate form of law to regulate it / Unnamed Senior BOL Official

Laos rarely makes crypto-headlines as the country has a relatively small population when compared to its Southeast Asian neighbors. Thailand, to the South of Laos, largely influences the Laotian laws, as the two nations are closely tied both politically and culturally, and is often referred to in crypto-news reports as a pro-crypto nation. To this effect, Thailand’s SEC has recently cleared seven crypto-exchanges for operation within the country, and this growing interest in crypto markets appears to be making its way into the Laotian psyche as well. In July of 2018, the first officially certified crypto-exchange, “Vientiane Exchange Money”, opened its doors in Laos’ capital, offering Laotians their first domestic opportunity to invest in the global crypto market, marking the official beginning of the Laotion crypto industry.

Disclaimer: information contained herein is provided without considering your personal circumstances, therefore should not be construed as financial advice, investment recommendation or an offer of, or solicitation for, any transactions in cryptocurrencies.