Tuesday 26 September 2023

“Cryptocurrencies are not prohibited”: Costa Rica’s Central Bank

But if you use them, it is at your own risk

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26 September 2023 - At The Banks - Source: BCCR

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QCOSTARICA – With the constant popularity of cryptocurrencies, even with Nayib Bukele in El Salvador making Bitcoin a legal tender in his country, the Central Bank of Costa Rica (Banco Central de Costa Rica) reiterates its position of being vigilant in our country, allowing its existence, but at the moment necessary, more regulation could be included.

Central Bank president does not see it necessary for a digital currency to be launched in Costa Rica

“Although their use is allowed in Costa Rica, whoever wishes to acquire these assets does so at their own risk. Therefore, it is important that those who decide to acquire this type of digital assets are well informed about their characteristics and the risks they entail,” warned Rodrigo Cubero, president of the Central Bank.

That is, the Central Bank reminds us that as a consumer you can voluntarily invest your money in cryptocurrencies, but you do not have legal instances to seek compensation for an eventual loss of capital caused by their high volatility.

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The Central Bank warns that though there is no law that prohibits the use of cryptocurrencies in the country, they are also exposed to not being accepted, as they are not assets that must be obligatorily accepted as a form of payment.

This is reflected in the fact that the Ministry of Finance (Ministerio de Hacienda) does not see it feasible for these to be used in the payment of tax obligations.

And is it possible for a digital currency to be launched in Costa Rica?

Not at the moment, says Cubero, who does not see it necessary, since the main objectives pursued by this type of digital currencies by central banks (financial inclusion and provision of secure, agile and low-cost digital payments) in Costa Rica have already been achieved in the country, thanks to SINPE, the Sistema Nacional de Pagos Electrónicos developed and administered by the Central Bank.

SINPE connects financial entities and public institutions in the country through a private telecommunications network, which allows them to carry out the electronic mobilization of funds, in colones and US dollars, between client accounts.

He, in turn, considers that the colon is strengthened, since it circulates digitally throughout the length and breadth of the national economy, through Sinpe.

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