Often times, we hear central banks from around the world warn the consumers of their respective countries to take caution when dealing with digital currencies, and the central bank of Portugal has done the same.
Portuguese news agency RTP reports that the bank specifically warned about the “risks of using virtual coins” — which comes conveniently close the time when the country’s first bitcoin ATM launched in Lisbon today.
The bank declares quite controversially that “virtual currencies are not safe,” citing the fact that bitcoin and other cryptos are not supervised or regulated by any entity in Portugal or the European Union, as it were.
As one would come to expect, the Bank also pulled out the cards most of us would come to expect by now, warning that bitcoin and other coins aren’t backed, consumers can lose their money at exchanges, and that they can be used to launder money and finance criminal activities.
Meanwhile, the folks over at Bitcoin Já — the organization behind the launch of the bitcoin ATM located in a Lisbon theatre — have sent me some lovely photos today from the launch event.
And while the bank’s statements could probably have been worded better, you can’t blame them for alerting citizens. They’re only doing their jobs, after all. And of course, anyone who does decide to play around with digital currency should understand the some of the points the central bank has made.