Armenia’s Central Bank calls on citizens to refrain from use of virtual currencies

09.12.2015 20:41
Armenia’s Central Bank calls on citizens to refrain from use of virtual currencies

YEREVAN, December 9. /ARKA/. Armenia’s Central Bank has called on citizens today to refrain from the use of virtual currencies before the enforcement of a relevant regulation.

"According to Armenian legislation, virtual currencies, including Bitcoins are not considered electronic money. This in view, the regulator calls on citizens to refrain from using them, given the absence of clear-cut approaches on this issue in international practice," the Central Bank said in a statement.

"The Central Bank encourages the use of those innovative payment instruments, which enable risk-free transactions by protecting the interests of customers as much as possible and do not create a favorable environment for money laundering and terrorism financing," the regulator said.

It recommended transaction only with those e-currencies, whose issuers follow certain requirements (including the fight against money laundering and financing of terrorism) and are properly monitored by competent authorities.

The European Union plans to strengthen control of virtual currencies, including Bitcoins and anonymous electronic payments as part of the fight against the financing of terrorism. The EU countries are going to ask n the European Commission to take measures to strengthen the control over non-bank payment methods, such as electronic / anonymous payments, virtual currency, and also transactions with gold and other precious metals by the use of prepaid cards.

According to the Central Bank, currently there are two issuers of electronic money in Armenia - Idram and MobiDram."

Idram LLC was founded in 2008 and received a license of the Central Bank in 2009. In 2012 the Central Bank allowed it to issue electronic money.

MobiDram is a subsidiary of telecom operator K-Telecom with authorized capital worth 613 million drams. It was founded in 2011. -0-


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