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Reserve Bank of Fiji Says Crypto Not Recognised as Legal Tender

The central bank of Fiji, situated in the Pacific, has issued a public advisory stating that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Tether are not considered legal tender within the country.

In a formal communication, the Reserve Bank of Fiji emphasized that it is unlawful for individuals to buy or invest in cryptocurrencies using funds domiciled in Fiji.

The bank reiterated that, according to the RBF Act of 1983, the only recognized legal tender in Fiji comprises currency notes and coins issued or sanctioned by the Reserve Bank of Fiji. The Fijian dollar has served as Fiji’s official currency since 1969, with a previous stint between 1867 and 1873.

Violation of the central bank’s position on cryptocurrency usage and promotion may result in penalties under both the RBF Act of 1983 and the Exchange Control Act of 1950.

While none of the Pacific Island nations have officially embraced private cryptocurrencies or stablecoins, Fiji, Palau, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu have expressed interest in exploring central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). Cash remains the primary medium of exchange for the majority of Fijians in their daily transactions.

Governor Ariff Ali of the Reserve Bank of Fiji has acknowledged the presence of businesses promoting cryptocurrency investment schemes within Fiji, often utilizing various platforms, including social media.

Ali emphasized that the central bank has neither licensed nor authorized any entity to offer cryptocurrency investments or engage in virtual asset trading within Fiji.

“The public is strongly advised against participating in cryptocurrency investment or trading schemes currently being promoted in Fiji,” reiterated the bank.

Crypto Regulations Making Significant Strides

In the previous year, it became apparent that over 40 countries had taken substantial steps toward enhancing regulations and legislation concerning cryptocurrencies in 2023, signaling an escalating global inclination toward broader cryptocurrency acceptance.

As per a report by professional services firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in 2023, numerous countries embarked on diverse initiatives aimed at formulating regulations and legislation customized for the cryptocurrency sector.

The PwC report highlighted that regulatory endeavors primarily concentrate on four crucial areas: stablecoin regulation, compliance with the travel rule, guidance on licensing and listing, and the overarching development of the cryptocurrency framework.

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Cryptocurrency is essentially virtual money that operates in a decentralized manner, not through a bank but directly on multiple independent computers.

Every cryptocurrency has two main components: the units of digital exchange called “coins” and the network within which the exchange takes place. These units can be transferred between wallets and exchanged on exchanges. The networks in which these coins exist are called blockchains, which translates to “chains of blocks.”

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