Unlicensed Crypto Trading Is ‘Illegal,’ Cambodian Regulators Announce

Asia Blockchain Review
August 7, 2018

Authorities in Cambodia have officially announced that domestic investors are now required to obtain a license for purchasing, selling or trading cryptocurrencies – other unlicensed activities would be declared illegal.

According to a joint statement penned on May 11 and published on Jun 19 on the NBC website, the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC), the Securities and Exchange Commission of Cambodia and the General-Commissariat of National Police stated that the decision was made after observing a growth in cryptocurrency trading in the country.

The published release stated that such activities “will cause potential risks to the publics [sic] and society as a whole,” the statement acknowledges: “Competent authorities clarify that the propagation, circulation, buying, selling, trading and settlement of cryptocurrencies without obtaining license from competent authorities are illegal activities.”

Furthermore the statement adds that failure to acquire a license for these activities “shall be penalized in accordance with applicable laws.”

The government agencies continued to clarify that it’s risky for investors to involve in cryptocurrency, accompanied with price volatility, cybercrime, and a lack of consumer protections, further listing several crypto projects including the alleged Ponzi scheme OneCoin, ForexCoin…

So far it isn’t clear just what license needs to be applied for, or what would be required for a successful application, but the requirement is likely to present a notable barrier for investors.

The joint statement was a markable widening of crypto-focused restrictions initiated by the NBC in December 2017, when it forbade domestic financial institutions from providing account services to those who were trading or investing in cryptocurrency, reported by Phnom Penh Post.

Afterward, projects or activities such as initial coin offerings (ICOs) and crypto trading activities went on to operate in a unsettled area, since regulators had not yet published an accurate legal framework providing transparency for this technology users.


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