Honduras Regulatory Agency Restricts Banks from Trading Crypto

Honduras, a median-income Latin American nation, has recently tightened cryptocurrency regulations within its jurisdiction. On this account, the National Banking and Securities Commission of Honduras has imposed a ban on local banking firms from investing in cryptocurrencies. The regulatory agency has cited the lack of regulatory clarity around cryptocurrencies as the main reason for the exodus.

Risks Associated with Crypto Transactions

As per this regulation, the regulator has talked about imposing a ban on various financial institutions from dealing with cryptocurrencies as investments. Meanwhile, the central bank of Honduras has also refrained from issuing any guarantee for crypto transactions noting that they are not regulated products. This stance indicates that digital assets and related financial services can expose firms to scams and ownership conflicts.

At the same time, the regulator has warned that the acceptability of cryptocurrency products can come to a halt at any time. The regulatory agency associated these risks with nothing that cryptocurrency transactions and payments are not legal obligations within the region. Referring to the regulatory-free status of cryptocurrencies, the regulators noted that cryptocurrencies are susceptible to being used in fraudulent schemes or fund terrorist activities.

Honduras Bars Banks from Investing in Crypto

The banking regulatory agency from Honduras also stated in the official notification that local firms should refrain from making any attempts to invest in cryptocurrencies in any capacity. The agency specified that regulated firms are not to deal with virtual currencies in the form of tokens, intermediaries, or any investment ventures. In the same manner, regulated firms are not to hold any form of derivatives of crypto.

AI Trading Robot

This resolution has also warned crypto investors about associated risks under the pretext of a lack of financial awareness and knowledge. Meanwhile, digital trading platforms are allowed to operate freely in the jurisdiction.

The National Banking and Securities Commission is under the direct supervision of the presidential administration. The resolution was published on 15th February. The agency noted that it has approved the resolution was approved with a unanimous vote and become activated with immediate effect.

The Central Bank of Honduras has issued a warning about using cryptocurrencies in 2022. The media reports have suggested that the nation is set to follow the example of El Salvador to elevate Bitcoin as a legal tender.

Additionally, the firm has stated that it is also conducting research on the digital version of national fiat.  Honduras hosts Bitcoin Valley which debuted in 2022. The main objective of the firm is to increase Bitcoin-based tourism.

Honduras Recognizes Bitcoin as a Legal Tender

Prospera is a local city in Honduras. This city has been recognized as a special economic zone where Bitcoin has been elevated to the status of legal tender in 2022. Additionally, the area also recognized Bitcoin as a unit of account in January.

At the time, the government has not specified the impact of its regulatory amendments on these areas.  Brazil, another Latin American nation leading the region in terms of crypto market competitiveness has also made major strides.

Jose Ribeiro, CEO of Coinext recently noted in November last year that cryptocurrencies at the time may have gone out of fashion. However, he retained that sector continues to reel in new investment interest particularly in rapidly developing markets such as Brazil.

Speaking at a Web 3.0 summit in Lisbon, Ribeiro told journalists about the vibrant economy of Brazil. The executive pointed out that the benefit of regulatory clarity leads to a significant boost in competition among various payment processors. He further stated that the volume of Bitcoin transactions in the region hit a record level in 2023 with more global firms entering the market.

As per the administrator, the competition among various crypto firms has accelerated. The nation has also reeled from the inflationary pressures in the past. Speaking on the matter, Ribeiro noticed that the chance of interest rates calming down in 2024, paving the way for another crypto cycle.

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