The government of Nepal, a country sandwiched between India and Tibet, is taking measures, once again, to limit citizens’ access to the cryptocurrency market. This week, the Telecom Authority of Nepal ordered all Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block websites and apps related to digital assets.
According to the decision, the action is due to an increase in transactions with Bitcoin and other crypto assets in the country in recent days.
Nepal: Cryptocurrency is illegal in the country
In the memo published on January 8, the official clarified that cryptocurrencies are not legal monetary instruments in Nepal.
“The Communications Authority of Nepal has instructed all Internet Service Providers (including email) to prevent the use, operation and management of virtual media including networks within Nepal and to prevent access to such online websites, applications or networks,” excerpts from the decision read.
In addition, the government has confirmed that in the event of non-compliance with the instructions, all those involved will be subject to the application of procedures under the provisions of the law.
Cryptocurrency is banned in Nepal
Nepal has long been working to ban the use of cryptocurrencies in the country. In September 2021, for example, the Central Bank of Nepal banned crypto activities, including trading and mining. Then, in April 2022, the Telecommunications Authority of Nepal sought information from the public about anyone who engages in illegal activities such as cryptocurrency.
Nepal is on the list of countries that have banned cryptocurrencies completely, according to the US Library of Congress. The other countries on the list are: China, Algeria, Bangladesh, Egypt, Iraq, Morocco, Qatar and Tunisia.
An absolute ban is the complete ban on the use of digital assets in the country. This happens when there are policies on the part of the states that classify the use of these assets as a criminal act, as is the case in Nepal.
Despite the ban, Nepal is one of the most crypto-using countries, according to the 2022 Global Cryptocurrency Adoption Index from Chainalysis. The country is ranked 16th in the global ranking of the on-chain data analytics company. Nepal, for example, was ahead of countries like the United Kingdom, Ecuador and Indonesia in the ranking. Meanwhile, Brazil ranks seventh in the world ranking and first when it comes to Latin America alone.