Bitcoin has spread its winks across the continents and most of the countries have amended their laws whiles others are still in the process of providing flexible law atmosphere for the cryptocurrency to reign. However, some few countries have not seen the economic impact of it but still deem it illegal. Nepal has put two men behind the prison bars for operating in Bitcoin.
The government has been so mean towards Bitcoin that even seven other Bitcoin operators were recently thrown into jail. The question everyone is asking is that, how long will this continue?
The founders of Bitsewa Pvt L.T.D, a cryptocurrency exchanger were arrested by the Central Investigation Bureau, for operating in Bitcoin which is against the law. Ram Dhakal, 32, and Pursottam Dhar Tuladhar, 26 defiled the fact that there is no regulation or law in Nepal for Bitcoin operation but went ahead to operate bitcoin racket in Kathmandu and Pokhara. He did the business under the disguise of the online technology business.
“They registered a company in the name of Bitsewa Pvt Ltd on the pretext of running a business of online technology, information dissemination, and software development,” said the Nepal authorities. “They had also opened www.bitsewa.com calling it ‘Bitsewa: Nepal’s First Bitcoin Company and Digital Assets Exchange’,” they continued.
Bitsewa offered a wide range of services covering most of the cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Etherium, Ripple, and Dash. It is clear that the arrested duo was doing great services to the whole fraternity of the digital currency.
Their arrest was confirmed by a representative of Bistewa and also confirmed that another group of seven men was arrested by the Central Investigation Bureau for running Bitcoin exchanging websites.
They later posted on their Facebook wall asking the authorities to free the arrested duo: “Bring the proper laws and policies first before punishing people for their innocent crime of educating public about the new technology. #FreeBitsewaFounders.”
The Law Surrounding Bitcoin Operation in Nepal
Bitcoin operation normally flourishes in an environment that supports it by law. Its growth has been hindered in Nepal by the publication of the Nepal Rastra Bank Act, 49. The law published in 2002 and its updated version in 2006 made no mention of Bitcoin. This has called for questions upon questions as the actual part they violated is not clear.
Others also believe that: “Whether the arrest of the two Bitcoin operators was fair or not depends on how the law is understood.” With the many variables defined by the law, we will bring only two variables to the attention of our readers and that is Money and Foreign currency.
The Nepal Rastra Bank Act 49 defines Money as: “all types of currency notes, postal orders, postal notes, money orders, cheques, drafts, traveller’s cheques, letters of credit, bills of exchange, promissory notes and credit cards and the word also includes similar types of monetary instruments as the Bank may prescribe, as per the requirement, through the publication and transmission of public notices.”
The law also defines Foreign Currency as: “the currencies other than the Nepalese currency and the word include the special drawing rights on the International Monetary Fund, the Asian Currency Units, the European Currency Units and other instruments as the Bank may prescribe, as per the requirement, by publication and transmission of public notices.”
It is still unclear whether the duo was arrested on the basis of these or not, but the voices raised against this act is that the freedom of the people curtailed.
Nepal Is Missing a Lot from Bitcoin
Bitcoin may have downsides, but its positive may far outweigh its negative. The fact that some countries which were not in agreement with Bitcoin now considering its use speaks a lot about its economic benefits. Bitcoin usage creates employment for people online and in some way; it helps to reduce poverty which is a key factor threatening the development of Nepal.
Iran, for instance, is considering the use of Bitcoin to replace PayPal and other online systems of payments which has been sanctioned by the United States of America.
It might be that the decision to make Bitcoin illegal is for security reasons, but with better regulations in place, they can benefit a lot from it.
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