UAE Central Bank Governor: Bitcoin ‘Easily Used’ for Money Laundering

Nikhilesh De
Oct 24, 2017 at 18:10 UTC
Updated Oct 25, 2017 at 01:39 UTC

The head of the central bank of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is striking a critical tone toward bitcoin.

Emirates News Agency reports that governor Mubarak Rashed Al Mansouri recently criticized the lack of supervision around bitcoin, claiming that it facilitates money laundering and terrorism financing. He also reportedly said that, to date, the central bank has not moved to offer licenses to any cryptocurrency businesses operating in the UAE.

“Some nations have announced that they are not using bitcoin, and consequently its value sharply plummeted. In addition, it can be easily used in money laundering and in funding terror activities,” he was quoted as saying.

Critical words aside, it’s not clear whether Al Mansouri’s words will turn into action.

Back in February, the central bank chief said that there were no immediate plans to impose new restrictions on cryptocurrencies. However, Al Mansouri indicated that this was a subject that’s under study – echoing moves by a number of central banks worldwide – and that new regulations could be forthcoming.

“This area is currently under review by the Central Bank and new regulations will be issued as appropriate,” Al Mansouri said in February.

Last month, regional news sources reported that the institution’s work was nearing completion and that new rules remain a possibility.

Dubai skyline image via Shutterstock

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