KATHMANDU: Cryptocurrency, or “decentralized electronic currency,” is gaining popularity around the world these days. Last January, Nepal’s neighbor India published a “National Strategy on Blockchain” to regulate the technology. However, such currencies and transactions are absolutely prohibited in Nepal.
On the Internet recently, there has been a lot of discussion and information concerning cryptocurrencies. However, in Nepal, a correct understanding of this has yet to be created. Many people have heard of Bitcoin and have a basic knowledge of it. People, on the other hand, seemed to comprehend that ‘cryptocurrency’ means ‘bitcoin,’ and that ‘bitcoin,’ in turn, means ‘cryptocurrency.’ Not only the general people, but also the Nepal Rastra Bank, appears to believe this.
On the 13th of August 2017, the NRB issued a statement claiming that ‘Bitcoin transactions are unlawful in Nepal.’ This, however, has no bearing on other cryptocurrency coins.
Cryptocurrency and Bitcoin
According to CoinMarketCap, there are already over 10,000 cryptocurrencies in circulation around the world. Bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency, is the most valued and widely used. A Japanese programmer invented Bitcoin in 2009.
Thousands of cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, are now available around the world. Ethereum, Polkadot, Ripple, and Dogecoin are examples of cryptocurrencies. In Nepal, however, the belief that Bitcoin is the only cryptocurrency is widespread.
Is it due to a lack of awareness or carelessness?
All economic transactions in Nepal are regulated by the Nepal Rastra Bank. The bank’s policy capacity is called into doubt by its statement on Bitcoin, which is also the guardian of banks, financial institutions, and digital service providers in the country.
Foreign exchange transactions can only be carried out with a license from the Rastra Bank, according to Nepalese legislation. Money must be remitted abroad to trade and invest in bitcoin. The NRB’s declaration on Bitcoin, which came after it was proclaimed that moving money overseas without permission is prohibited, appears to have caused even greater confusion among the people. Is it allowed to invest in other coins? This is an intriguing question that occurs.
The worldwide media has recently reported on persons who have made millions of dollars by investing in cryptocurrency.
Two weeks ago, it was reported that a high-ranking Gold Sachs employee had resigned after earning tens of millions of dollars using DogeCoin. Similarly, word circulated quickly that a 25-year-old American had become a millionaire at such a young age by investing in Bitcoin. While its investment and business are growing in Europe and the United States, as well as in India, it is outlawed in Nepal.
At first look, Bitcoin does not appear to be a viable investment option in Nepal, where it is prohibited to transmit money overseas without the approval of the central bank. However, based on posts and statuses on social media and in groups, it appears that a significant quantity of money is being traded surreptitiously from Nepal.
Nepalis are investing in several ways, such as through the creation of websites, peer-to-peer transactions, or through friends and relatives residing abroad. People that invest in cryptocurrencies join groups on social media sites such as Facebook, WhatsApp, and Viber to trade it. Transactions, on the other hand, are not readily apparent because it is against the law.
Limitation of the declaration of illegality to paper
Many business operations that have been declared illegal by Nepalese law have not been stopped by the government. It doesn’t matter if it’s betting, Hundi, or e-commerce.
The indifference of stakeholders, despite the fact that the government’s policies and judgments are limited to paper, and the knowledge that comes out in pieces about these transactions that are done invisibly, is astounding.
Khalti, a digital service provider, alerted the Rastra Bank in April, requesting an investigation into the transaction statements of roughly a thousand users on suspicion of betting. However, the NRB has yet to take any action or make any statements in this regard.
Similarly, despite the fact that the Hundi business of transporting money from Nepal to foreign countries is unlawful, it appears that no action has been taken. Similarly, the Nepal Rastra Bank and the government appear to be on the same page when it comes to Bitcoin.
Is it important to have legitimacy?
This can be viewed from two angles. The world’s most powerful economies have endorsed cryptocurrencies, proclaiming it to be the currency of the future. Cryptocurrencies are being used to pay for restaurant bills, Netflix subscriptions, Tesla cars, and even sports tickets in some regions.
Its instantaneous legitimacy is unthinkable in Nepal, where moving money overseas is a crime. However, if Nepalese policymakers can interpret cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin differently in the near future, it may obtain legitimacy.
Trading in cryptocurrencies, which resembles stock market transactions, is less expensive than trading in fiat money (rupee, dollar, euro, pound, etc.) since cryptocurrency transfers do not require the use of a third party (bank). Without the need of a third party, money can be sent from anywhere in Nepal to anywhere in the world.
Cryptocurrency transactions are made feasible via blockchain technology. As a result, there is no need for a third party to complete the transaction. As a result, transactions are simple, secure, and rapid.
How do the transactions take place?
By opening a TMS account, you can purchase and sell cryptocurrency in the same manner you can buy and sell stocks (on the stock market). Buying and selling takes place on a variety of platforms. It can be traded on sites such as Binance, Crypto.com, Robinhood, Etoro, and Coinbase, for example.
To store this, you’ll need a crypto wallet. The use of blockchain technology is thought to be safe and dependable. To put it another way, transactions on the platforms can be compared to money kept in eSewa, and using a crypto wallet to make bank account deposits.