Ethiopia central bank warns against trading in digital currencies

Representations of the Ripple, Bitcoin, Etherum and Litecoin virtual currencies are seen on a PC motherboard in this illustration picture, Feb. 2018. REUTERS

Ethiopia’s central bank on Monday told Ethiopians not to engage in “illegal” transactions in digital currencies.

An image of gold bitcoins. /AP

The National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) said digital currencies like crypto-currencies and bitcoins haven’t been recognized by the NBE as a transactional and payment method, state affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate (FBC) reported.

“Ethiopia’s national currency is the Ethiopian Birr, with any financial transaction in Ethiopia to be paid in Birrs, according to the law,” the NBE said in a statement.

It warned that digital currencies are being used to conduct informal financial transactions and money laundering schemes in Ethiopia.

The NBE called on the public to refrain from trading in digital currencies and to report to authorities when they see such illegal transactions.