Cambodian Authorities announced that domestic investors must obtain a license to buy, sell or trade cryptocurrencies. Without this license, these activities will be considered illegal.
The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC), the Securities and Exchange Commission of Cambodia and the General-Commissariat of National Police released a joint statement, signed on May 11 and released Tuesday, say they reached this decision after observing a surge in cryptocurrency trading in the country.
Saying that these activities “cause potential risk to the public and society as a whole,” the statement also says that:
“Competent authorities clarify that the propagation, circulation, buying, selling, trading, and settlement of cryptocurrencies without obtaining a license from competent authorities are illegal activities.”
The statement continues, saying that failure to obtain a license for the above activities will result in penalties.
All three agencies explain that involvement with crypto can bring risk to the investor. With risks arising from volatility, cybercrime and a lack of consumer protection, the statement goes on to list several crypto projects, including OneCoin as examples.
It is not yet clear what license is needed, nor what is required to apply for one. It can be assumed, however, that the requirement will present a barrier to investors.
The joint statement released by these government agencies marks a widened focus on restrictions on cryptocurrencies which began in December 2017, when the NBC banned domestic banks and financial institutions from dealing with crypto investors and traders.
Since that time, crypto-related projects like initial coin offerings (ICOs) and crypto trading have operated in a gray area, due to government regulators having yet to release a clear legal framework for users of cryptocurrencies.