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Is Bitcoin Legal in Nepal?

On Aug 13, 2017, Nepal Rastra Bank declared bitcoin trading as illegal. Government made few arrests afterward and the wave of bitcoin plunged. But why is it illegal in Nepal but not in developed countries like USA, UK and China? Can bitcoin be assigned legal status? Is owning bitcoin or mining bitcoin same as trading bitcoin? Where is the clarification? Can just a 200 word notice kill the greatest financial solution of this civilization?

Image: Nepal Rastra Bank/Bitcoin

In short, the answer is no. Bitcoin is not illegal in Nepal; Bitcoin trading is illegal in Nepal. People need to understand this. Let’s say people mined a bitcoin in Kathmandu using solar from roof; not using governmental electricity. What is illegal here? Is owning a computer illegal? Is using a solar energy to operate a computer illegal?

Instead of discussing more on legality and keeping aside those bitcoin for trading eyes, let’s dive into why countries like Nepal need bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a digital currency which is 100% transparent and controlled by everyone. When everyone is accepting the upcoming phase of “cash-less” society, bitcoin fits. When everyone is fighting for transparency in financial world, only bitcoin fits. When everyone wants to control their money without any censorship, bitcoin again fits.

But some people are worried that it will be used for illegal activities. Who are these worried people? Are these people worried because they have black money which can’t go transparent? Think about it. Cash is the easiest format for criminals to transact because they can hide as much as they can. And often these criminals are uneducated to understand how digital currency operate.

Governments and banks are worried because they won’t be able to print their money out of thin air. Don’t believe they have backed-up currency with gold. Those are bygones of 1900s. Did they teach you what money is and how it is distributed? No, they taught us only to calculate in school and college. How many people in Nepal can answer the total NPR in circulation? I doubt we can get even 1 vote. On the other hand, if people accept bitcoin, these financial parameters will be transparent. A kid at home can run the bitcoin node and verify every transactions.

What we need to understand is our current financial system is corrupt. We all know this. But we have not fought for financial freedom ever in our history. We fought many political fights; against British, against Ranas and against Kings. But we have never fought for system that made us poor. We have never fought to get the control of our own money that we earned from our hard work. Bitcoin gives that financial freedom. Making bitcoin illegal is declaring our freedom illegal. And yet here we are, still not fighting since Aug 13, 2017. Let’s fight for financial freedom together.

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Krishna
Krishna is an initial CDT member of RECAP blockchain network; a crypto enthusiast who has worked on multiple startups since 2013.
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