The Central Bank of Cyprus (located in the Eastern Mediterranean) has weighed in on bitcoin, and it doesn’t seem fond of the digital currency.
The central bank released a statement on Friday that said it “does not approve any activity that falls within its purview, unless it can ensure the legality of that activity. Activities without the necessary licensing are in breach of legislation.”
As have a number of other countries, Cyprus also warned of bitcoin perils, which includes the fact they aren’t government backed, are susceptible to extreme price variations, and can be used to launder money and finance crime.
It’s a surprising and unexpected statement to some in the community. Last year, the University of Nicosia became the first educational institution to accept bitcoin for tuition, meals, and the purchasing of course materials. The island was a place many considered to be an incubator for bitcoin development — but the central bank’s statements certainly seem to contradict those sentiments now.
It’s not clear where this goes from here, but the central bank has not said using bitcoin is illegal, which for now is a good thing.