Polish Regulators Warn Banks and Consumers on Cryptocurrency Risks

coindesk.com5y ago

A pair of Polish regulators said today that investors and banks should avoid dealing with digital currencies like bitcoin and ether.

In a joint statement, the Polish National Bank and the Financial Supervision Commission delivered a broad warning against investing in digital currencies, citing price volatility and the risk of fraud. The regulators clarified that cryptocurrencies – it identifies bitcoin, litecoin and ether – are not considered legal tender in Poland.

While the statement itself does not outline any specific policy measures in light of the tech, it does state that financial institutions should avoid doing business with cryptocurrency exchange services "in particular with regard to the risk of exploitation of these entities for money laundering and terrorist financing", according to the statement.

"The decision in this regard should be preceded by a thorough analysis of the potential consequences, including legal risk and reputation risk," the regulators added.

While arguing that distributed ledger tech should be distinguished from cryptocurrency applications, the regulators called for increased scrutiny before any broader adoption happens.

"Many functional, operational and legal aspects of this technology, however, should be subject to a detailed and thorough analyzes and tests before the mass introduction of the financial market," the statement read.

In February, CoinDesk reported that Poland’s financial ombudsman, Aleksandra Wiktorow, urged the country's Ministry of Finance to regulate cryptocurrency exchanges. That call followed the closure of Bitcurex, the country's oldest bitcoin exchange, which sparked an investigation by local authorities.

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