Bolivia lawmakers have enacted a crackdown on cryptocurrency use, arresting 60 people at a workshop and describing it as a “pyramid scheme.”
In a statement issued by the country’s Financial System Supervision Authority ASFI, its head Lenny Valdivia Bautista said it was necessary to “remind” the population that virtual currency of any kind is “prohibited.”
“By way of this formal communication from a competent authority, it is important to urge the population to denounce cases in which people try to take advantage of personal savings and those of families,” Bautista continued.
His comments, however serious, struck a highly ironic tone. Governments all over the world have enshrined Bitcoin use in law as a legitimate payment method, and ASFI does produce evidence to support its pyramid scheme accusations.
“...We are telling the Bolivian population not to be fooled, not to participate in these closed groups… which take advantage of people and deceive them in order to appropriate their money,” he continued on the subject of a cryptocurrency advocate scheme, members of which were arrested last week.
Bolivia’s confusing incomprehension of cryptocurrency appears coupled with even more draconian measures than those witnessed in fellow South American economy Venezuela.
The former had arrested members of a mining operation accused of siphoning off too much power from the creaking national grid, a move which had little effect on the explosion of Bitcoin trading seen on exchanges.