Colbitex, Colombia’s first Bitcoin exchange launched its platform in testnet mode on June 3, 2016. The service was working without any incidents for the past month, and on July 25 the exchange entered a beta phase, where real transactions took place.
Colbitex’s Run Lasted 8 Days
The service operated normally for the space of 8 days, with an average daily volume of 1.44 BTC. However, on August 2, the company announced the discontinuation of the website:
Dear customers, we are currently reviewing some of our processes and regulatory framework, with the hopes of continuing to provide a legally viable service. We will release further information in the next days. We implore our customers to contact our support department to process all withdrawals.
Colbitex was offering Bitcoin exchange services with local currency (The Colombian Peso COP). The suspension comes a week after Colbitex entered formal operations and it’s a major setback for the local Bitcoin ecosystem. The regulatory revision will establish a legal precedent in the government’s stance on cryptocurrencies.
Legal Status of Bitcoin in Colombia
The legal status of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in Colombia isn’t properly defined. Virtual currencies (including crypto) are not recognized as legal money nor they are prohibited.
The Superintendencia Financiera de Colombia (SFC) is the Colombian government agency