Is bitcoin legal in Cambodia?

Bitcoin Cambodia

There are crypto exchanges and traders in Cambodia but the legality of bitcoin in the country is still unclear. The fact is that Cambodian financial authorities have not declared bitcoin as a legal tender.

Many people are trading bitcoin hugely in Cambodia without having issues with the authorities involved. There are business owners that accept BTC as a payment option. You can also buy bitcoin at the best rate in the market on Remitano P2P to start your bitcoin trading journey.

Many Cambodians are concerned about the warning from the authorities like the National Bank of Cambodia that bitcoin and other crypto use is illegal. 

Cambodia legal statement and bitcoin 

Cambodia is one of the countries where BTC is having a bit of a struggle to be widely accepted. One of the reasons is that the country’s government plans to release its own digital currency called “Project Bakong.” The project will serve as a money-sharing platform, and there will be a p2p option for money transfer. The essence of the project Bakong is to explore alternative payment options in the country and promote the use of Cambodian Riel. 

The Cambodian government doesn’t regulate any virtual currency, but electronic money under Prakas is regulated. Bitcoin is not a specific target, but there is a need to have a license for trading. The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC), the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the country’s police made a joint move. It released a statement that buying, selling, circulation, or mining cryptocurrency without getting the license makes it an illegal activity. The statement released also added that any unregulated cryptocurrency that poses a risk to the public is illegal. The country’s authorities have announced that investors in Cambodia willing to engage in crypto trading or investing should obtain the license. Trading bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency without obtaining a license is illegal in Cambodia. 

Other things included in the statement are: 

  •       The government does back crypto as a legal tender
  •       The volatility of bitcoin and other crypto results in huge losses 
  •       The issue of cybercrime and fund thefts can be on the rise because digital wallets can be hacked. 

Bitcoin is not on the list of the draft law

On the other hand, the NBC 2017 announcement of their blockchain shows other cryptos might be incorporated into the system in the long run. Crypto doesn’t have anything to do with the country’s eCommerce, and there is no reason why the legislation should include crypto. If NBC is making legislation to forbid crypto, there must be an answer to why they want to roll out their blockchain technology for interbank transactions.

It will be a difficult task for the Cambodian government to regulate cryptocurrencies because of their unique characteristics and the massive rate of adoption.  Some of the reasons why bitcoin regulation will be difficult include; 

Bitcoin is securely decentralized

The local authority of a country can control its local currency because it is centralized. On the other hand, Bitcoin is decentralized. The p2p system of BTC is why the Cambodian government might not find it easy to regulate the circulation and usage of bitcoin. There is no single control over bitcoin because it is free from a central or regulatory body. Many countries are embracing digital currency, but the National Bank of Cambodia is opposing it in the name of cybersecurity risk and fraud. 

Bitcoin has gained traction

Although authorities are trying to regulate the trade of bitcoin in the country, there are chances that the situation will become lighter very soon. Countries like the US, China, and Russia have tried to regulate or ban the use of cryptocurrencies in their nation but have succumbed in the end. Bitcoin adoption is on the rise more than ever with nations trying to catch up by developing their own national cryptocurrencies.

Whether bitcoin and other cryptos are legal or illegal in the country, it has spread widely, and its use in the country is growing at a very high rate.

There have been many opinions from different experts on bitcoin. One of the early adopters of bitcoin in Asia, “Chris Taylor,” said the local legal issue BTC is facing is simply because many don’t understand Bitcoin and its potential to disrupt existing financial systems. 

The legality of bitcoin in the country

BTC and other crypto don’t have customer protection, and anonymity can make finance terrorism and money laundering increase drastically. 

Regulatory authorities in Cambodia are making moves to regulate crypto, warning the citizens to be cautious of buying and selling bitcoin.

Additionally, getting the license is a must for anyone that wants to trade bitcoin. Anyone that engages in the bitcoin trade should ensure that the license is obtained to avoid penalties. 

Cambodia is working closely with Japan to develop its own blockchain-based project that can be used in the country. The blockchain project they are working on will keep track of interbank lending and transactions. This project will help to make transactions easier. 

While the legality of bitcoin in Cambodia is muddled up, Cambodians are still heavily involved in bitcoin trading and the interest in cryptocurrency is on the rise. Remitano exchange is making it easy for people to buy bitcoin in Cambodia and trade other cryptocurrencies while adhering to the Cambodian government regulations.

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