Egypt’s Central Bank Issues Crypto Warning — Violators Risk Imprisonment

Egypt's Central Bank Issues Crypto Warning — Violators Risk Imprisonment

The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) has issued a fresh warning about cryptocurrency, noting that violators could face imprisonment. The Egyptian central bank’s law “prohibits issuing, trading, or promoting cryptocurrencies, creating or operating platforms for trading it, or carrying out related activities.”

Crypto Warning Issued by Egypt’s Central Bank

The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) has renewed its warning about all types of cryptocurrencies, citing a number of risks, including high volatility, use in financial crimes, and e-piracy, Egypt Independent reported Tuesday. The ECB also stressed that crypto is not issued or backed by the central bank or any other official authority.

“In the same context, the Law of the Central Bank of Egypt and the Banking System — promulgated by Law No. 194 of 2020 — prohibits issuing, trading, or promoting cryptocurrencies, creating or operating platforms for trading it, or carrying out related activities,” the CBE statement reads, adding:

Whoever violates this shall be imprisoned, and fined no less than one million pounds and no more than LE10 million [$516,340], or one of these two penalties.

The Egyptian central bank issued a similar warning about cryptocurrencies in January 2018, specifically naming bitcoin, stating:

It is worthy to note that cryptocurrencies are not issued by any central bank, or any official central issuing authority that can be held accountable.

“Moreover, cryptocurrencies are not backed by any tangible assets and are not supervised by any regulators worldwide, and consequently, they lack the official governmental guarantee and support enjoyed by the other official currencies issued by central banks,” the central bank added.

Egypt’s Dar El-Ifta, the government’s principal Islamic institution for issuing fatwas (religious opinions), issued an edict in January 2018, declaring that any and all uses of cryptocurrency were ḥarām, or forbidden — including purchasing, selling, and leasing.

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