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Colombia Declares Bitcoin and Other Digital Currencies Illegal

Francisco Memoria on 31/12/2016


An article published by Colombian publication PanAm Post suggests bitcoin, and digital currencies in general, are now illegal in Colombia, claiming the administrator of regulatory body announced the news recently.


The news comes after the Superintendencia de Sociedades, an organism associated with the Colombian Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, announced digital currencies, including bitcoin, were prohibited in Colombia and assured the only valid currency is the peso.


The article states the announcement was made by Francisco Reyes Villamizar, head of the Superintendencia, after what is known as “investment clubs” gained popularity. In these, members convince others to join the club and invest their money with the promise of doubling their money within two months. In the article, it is, however, unclear how all of this relates to bitcoin.


Francisco Reyes Villamizar also assured Colombians the only entity allowed to issue money in the country is the Banco de la República, the country’s central bank. The bank, reportedly, has repeatedly said the only valid currency in the territory is the one they issue.

A Questionable Announcement


Although it is clear the Colombian government isn’t fond of bitcoin, it’s unclear whether or not it will enforce what has just been announced. The announcement has been questioned, even within the country.


PanAm Post spoke to a business consultant named Jorge Eduardo, who said money isn’t just coins and notes, corroborating his argument with the following translated statement:


   To say that pesos are the only means of payment is to deny the fact that people pay for a part of a new car by delivering a used car or by exchanging an apartment or another local for a used Villa. Bitcoins can be valued in pesos just like cars or houses. Everyone in each business checks that proportion of what is delivered or received is in pesos, bitcoins or some other asset.


At the end of the article, a small overview of bitcoin’s value is mentioned. In it, PanAm Post mentions one bitcoin is worth well over $900 and claims its value may end up being $1.000 to $1.200 in 2017. Global instability and economic uncertainty are mentioned as factors that support bitcoin’s value.

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