Following up on reports this past weekend noting that the central bank of Portugal had issued a warning pertaining to the use of bitcoin and digital currencies comes news that Serbia is doing much the same.
In a statement issued today, the National Bank of Serbia (NBS) wants to make it clear to Serbian citizens that bitcoin (and other digital currencies) is not considered to be legal tender.
Of course, the central bank has pulled the cards we’re well familiar with when it comes to explaining the risks associated with digital currencies. They aren’t guaranteed, users aren’t protected against theft, and more. This announcement comes following a huge sell order this weekend that brought the price of bitcoin down significantly.
The bank says:
[blockquote style=”2″]As for bitcoin payments in Serbia, [the] dinar is the country’s legal tender pursuant to the NBS Law, and all cash liabilities arising from transactions concluded in the country are expressed in dinars and settled in dinar-denominated means of payment, unless stipulated otherwise by another law. Furthermore, the Law on Payment Transactions envisages that payment transactions are performed in dinars. According to the Law on Foreign Exchange Operations, payments, collections and transfers among residents and between residents and non-residents are performed in dinars, or in foreign currencies in exceptional cases which are prescribed by the Law. The same Law defines exchange operations as the activities of purchase and sale of foreign cash and cheques denominated in a foreign currency from/to natural persons. Pursuant to the Decision on Types of Foreign Exchange and Foreign Cash to be Purchased and Sold in the Foreign Exchange Market, banks and licensed exchange dealers may buy and sell foreign cash only in currencies stipulated by the Decision. Given the above, please be advised that bitcoin is not a legal tender in the Republic of Serbia and cannot be subject to sale and purchase by banks and licensed exchange dealers. For the above reasons and the fact that there are no legal protection mechanisms, investing in bitcoin and other similar virtual currencies not issued or backed by the central bank constitutes a risk and may result in financial losses[/blockquote]
The NBS states that anyone engaging in these sorts of activities is doing so at their own risk, which is good news, because Serbians can interact with bitcoin and other digital currencies at will.