Fiji central bank warns against crypto use, disappointing Bitcoin hopes

The Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF) has advised the general public against utilizing cryptocurrencies for transactions or investments, contradicting previous assumptions about the Fijian prime minister’s stance on digital currencies.

Fijian citizens could potentially be prosecuted for investing in cryptocurrencies outside of Fiji using funds originating from there, according to a recent statement. This cautionary measure was likely issued due to the increasing popularity of cryptocurrencies within the nation.

“The Governor of the RBF, Mr Ariff Ali acknowledges that there are indications of persons or entities promoting cryptocurrency investment schemes in Fiji. These investment schemes are increasingly being promoted through various platforms including social media.”

The RBF clearly states that no individual or organization has been given permission by them to offer cryptocurrency investments or conduct transactions in virtual assets.

There was great anticipation that Bitcoin (BTC) would gain popularity in Fiji following Sitiveni Rabuka’s appointment as prime minister in December 2022. This expectation arose largely because of the public statements of Tongan parliament member and nobleman, Mata’i’ulua ‘i Fonuamotu, Lord Fusitu’a. In a social media post shortly after Rabuka’s election win, Fusitu’a described Rabuka as “pro-Bitcoin” and called for the passing of Bitcoin Legal Tender Bills in the Pacific region during 2023.

Fiji central bank warns against crypto use, disappointing Bitcoin hopes

Lord Fusitu’a shared that Rabuka requested several private meetings with him to learn the process of making Bitcoin a legal tender for Fiji, similar to how Tonga has done it. A user commented on Fusitu’a’s post, mentioning Rabuka hadn’t made any public announcements regarding Bitcoin. In response, Lord Fusitu’a stated that he didn’t believe Rabuka had been asked about the matter yet.

Lord Fusitu’a strongly advocated for adopting Bitcoin as the national currency in 2022 and even proposed transforming the country’s national treasury to utilize this cryptocurrency. However, these changes have not been implemented yet.

The RBF’s latest stance on cryptocurrency aligns with the IMF’s cautionary viewpoint. In a report published in February about the application of digital money in Pacific Island nations, the IMF characterized cryptocurrencies as unsatisfactory alternatives for payment methods and warned about potential economic risks associated with them.

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2024-04-15 20:30