The Central Bank of Samoa has stated in a recently released statement that companies and entities who are advocates and promoters of digital currencies would receive the same treatment as traditional financial institutions on the Island nation.
According to a release issued by the apex bank of Samoa, it can be inferred that the country expects nothing short of full compliance of the promoters, traders, and advocates of cryptocurrency in relation to the country’s statutory provisions as regards money laundering and other illegal financial activities. This will translate to digital currency promoters having to obtain necessary licenses and permits from the appropriate authorities just like other traditional financial institutions do. The release expressly states that;
“…any person who wishes to promote Cryptocurrency or Digital currency is considered under the Money Laundering Prevention Amendment Act 2018 as a Financial Institution,” the statement said. “This means it must have a valid business licence issued in Samoa and is required to follow the Central Bank’s reporting requirements for Financial Institutions.”
However, Not a Legal Tender
This release by the Central Bank of Samoa (CBS) can be regarded as a way of the country showing optimism in the virtual currency sector. It can also be misinterpreted as the country’s acceptance of digital currency. However, the regulatory body did not leave a loose end for misinterpretation and defended its fiat currency as it has warned that cryptocurrencies do not possess the requisite status of a legal tender in the island country which is necessary for their acceptance as a currency.
The reserve bank has also rendered some sort of advice for prospective investors who might be considering dabbling into the digital currency sector to be conscious of the risk that they are signing for before investing in the industry or simply buying. The central bank of Samoa made a disclaimer, stating that “People who invest in any of the cryptocurrencies do so at their own risk,” and that; “There is no guarantee that cryptocurrencies will be accepted as a medium of exchange, or will hold their value.”
Despite the anti-cryptocurrency position allegedly held by the country, its Central bank could not deny the impact and huge potentials of the blockchain technology thereby acknowledging that it could be transformative in various sectors, most especially the financial sector. Consequent upon this, the reserve bank of the Asia-pacific nation is considering the exploration of the blockchain technology as a ‘platform for promoting financial inclusion in Samoa.’
The CBS Blocks Onecoin Crypto Transaction
Apparently, this is not the first time the Central bank of Samoa will leave an indication to prove that it maintains an anti-crypto currency posture. It was reported about four months ago that the country’s reserve bank had issued a regulatory directive which forbids all foreign exchange transaction which is related to the overly controversial Onecoin digital currency in the country.
At this point in time, the Central Bank of Samoa revealed that it premised its decisions on the wild suspicion that the crypto exchange, Onecoin is a Ponzi scheme. Also, the central bank stated the major reason for this action, stating that it as it was in favor of the Samoan forex reserve. The apex bank noted in a press statement that;
“This also ensures the protection of Samoa’s foreign currency reserves, which is at risk due to the high number of people wanting to remit money overseas for this get rich quick scheme.”
It is also worthy to note that the Central Bank of Samoa is not the only apex bank in the Asia-pacific region of the globe to have shown an anti-cryptocurrency posture in recent times. It was reported by mainstream media platforms as well as crypto-based media outlets that the Bank of Laos issued a warning against digital currencies saying that the nation did not approve them and disregarded them as authorized currencies in its jurisdiction.