Bitcoin was unwelcome in Bangladesh. The country’s central bank warned that anyone caught using the digital currency will be jailed.
The destitute South Asian country has strict anti-money laundering laws and was looking to shut down Bitcoin exchanges that allow trading of the cryptocurrency.
In 2014, The Bangladesh Bank issued the stern statement through local media: “Bitcoin is not a legal tender of any country. Any transaction through Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency is a punishable offense,” the statement said, according to the Agence France-Presse. Bank officials told AFP violators could be sentenced to up to 12 years in jail.
Up to that date, Bangladesh has been roiled by social unrest, poverty, climate change, and famine.
Nonetheless, in 2014, a Bangladesh bitcoin group became the first Asian affiliate to join the Bitcoin Foundation. The affiliate stated a goal to offer “bitcoin education and resources in Bengali, the official language, and encourage adoption among merchants and consumers.”
“Owning cryptocurrencies or carrying out virtual transactions and trade through them is not a criminal offense, the Bangladesh Bank recently said in a letter to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).”
This essentially means that only people using Bitcoin for illegal activities such as money laundering will be charged and imprisoned.