Bangladesh Bank has recently stated that ownership, protection or transaction of cryptocurrency is not a crime.
The Foreign Monetary Policy Division of Bangladesh Bank has expressed this opinion in a letter sent to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the police.
On 18 May, Shafiul Azam, assistant director of the department, told CID about the bank's position on cryptocurrency.
"Even if the ownership, preservation or transaction of cryptocurrency is not recognised, it does not appear to be a crime," he wrote in the said letter.
In the letter, he said that transactions in virtual currencies can, however, be listed as crimes in the second phase of the Foreign Exchange Control Act 1947, Anti-Terrorism Act 2009 and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2012.
"If applicable, CID can inquire about it," the letter read.
In the same letter, Bangladesh Bank (BB) stated that the current virtual currency market in the world is two trillion US dollars.
The currency was not recognised by any legal authority in the early stages of circulation.
However, now the central banks and currency regulators of several countries (such as Japan, Singapore, the UAE, and the US) have taken steps to legalise cryptocurrency transactions.
The BB has so far not allowed transactions or reserves in such private currencies.
At the initiative of the Foreign Monetary Policy Department, the central bank earlier issued a warning on 24 December, 2016 on their website asking people to refrain from trading in artificial currencies (such as Bitcoin).
At that time, BB said in a statement that "transactions in virtual currency may violate anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism financing laws."
The country's central bank is yet to formulate any policy on cryptocurrency.
However, in the meantime, there is talk among the government bodies about not rejecting cryptocurrency completely. For example, ICT Division launched the National Blockchain Strategy in March 2020.
In their strategy paper, the ICT Division said that $23 billion had been invested in blockchain startups since 2013.
"This investment may increase further in the future. This is an opportunity for Bangladeshi software industries. However, as the use of cryptocurrency is banned, the software industry in Bangladesh is missing out on lucrative opportunities," it read.
Earlier throughout the month of June, members of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) had arrested six people from the capital on charge of trading cryptocurrency.
Cryptocurrency is a digital currency that can be used to buy goods and services, but uses an online ledger with strong cryptography to secure online transactions. Much of the interest in these unregulated currencies is to trade for profit, with speculators at times driving prices skyward.
The most popular cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, has had volatile price moves this year, reaching nearly $65,000 in April before losing nearly half its value in May.