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Nepal Regulator Orders ISPs to Block Crypto Websites or Face the Law

The country’s telco regulator has warned Nepalese internet and email providers to block crypto-related websites or face legal action.

The country’s telecommunications regulator has ordered all internet service providers (ISPs) to block all cryptocurrency trading websites, threatening legal action against those who do not comply.

The Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA) ordered ISPs and email service providers to block access to “crypto-related websites, apps, or online networks” in a notice issued on January 8.

It stated that virtual currency transactions “have increased in recent days [translated]” and reiterated that cryptocurrency transactions are illegal in the country.

The Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), the country’s central bank, declared crypto trading and mining illegal in a notice issued in September 2021. It is also illegal to “encourage” others to use cryptocurrency.

The NTA issued a similar caution notice regarding cryptocurrency websites in April 2022, asking the public to notify the regulator if they have information “related to the name of such website, app, or online network.”

It also threatened legal action if “anyone is found to have done or been doing” crypto-related activities in the April notice, but did not call for a block on access to crypto services at the time.

Despite the fact that crypto is illegal in the country, a September 2022 report by blockchain data firm Chainalysis revealed that emerging markets, including Nepal, are at the forefront of global crypto adoption.

Nepal’s crypto adoption ranked it in the top 20, 16th overall, ahead of the United Kingdom.

According to data from the Law Library of Congress in a November 2021 report, Nepal is one of only nine countries that have outright banned cryptocurrencies.

China, Algeria, Bangladesh, Egypt, Iraq, Morocco, Qatar, and Tunisia are among the other countries.

 

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