Bitcoin “Is Not Money” Says National Bank of Poland

Announcements, News, Regulation | January 3, 2018 By:

The National Bank of Poland (NBP), the country’s central bank, has started an online campaign to discourage citizens from investing in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.

The NBP rolled out a new website dedicated to issuing warnings about cryptocurrencies. Divided into several sections, the website cautions investors about the perceived dangers of non-fiat financial instruments.

The website states that “cryptocurrencies, virtual currencies, digital currencies are not ‘electronic money’ within the meaning of the law.” It goes on to explain that “cryptocurrency is a digital representation of a contractual value among its users, which is not issued and guaranteed by any central bank in the world (e.g. Polish zloty is issued by the National Bank of Poland). Virtual currency is used as an imitation of money if the two sides of the transaction agree with each other. However, it is not a currency (such as the zloty).”

The website also outlines five crypto-related risks investors should take into account before investing in cryptocurrencies. These include the risk of losing money due to theft, the lack of guarantees, the lack of universal acceptability, the possibility of fraud, and high price volatility.

In July, 2017, the NBP and the Financial Supervision Commission issued a warning against investing in cryptocurrencies, citing price volatility and the risk of fraud. The regulators clarified that cryptocurrencies – it identifies bitcoin, Litecoin and ethereum – are not considered legal tender in Poland.