The financial supervision in Bolivia has ordered 60 people to be arrested, because these other people have brought in how to invest in Bitcoins. The financial supervision of the rather weakly developed South American country forbids any currency other than Boliviano, and describes bitcoin and other cryptic stimuli as pyramid scheme.

According to a press release by the Bolivian Financial Supervisory Authority, 60 people were recently arrested because they had invested in virtual currencies to other citizens in the country’s most populous city, Santa Cruz de la Sierra. A special unit on the fight against crime last Wednesday carried out the detention in a public place in the center of the city.

A Director of Financial Supervision ASFI, Lenny Valdivia Bautista, said that they had also confused “pamphlets”, explaining how to use virtual currencies. The supervision is directed against the Bolivian bitcointers, who meet in closed Whatsapp groups as well as on Facebook. According to the Bolivian newspaper Hoy Bolivia, Valdiva said that digital surveillance technologies are used to analyze these networks and identify the Bitcoin evangelists.

On the occasion of the arrests, the ASFI recalls that this activity is forbidden throughout the country, and that cryptic stimuli are pyramid games that have been made only to take away their citizens’ money and savings. According to a resolution of 2014, “it is forbidden in our country to use any kind of virtual currency, whether it is called Bitcoin or otherwise, and to put it in circulation.”

The government of the South American Midland has already banned Bitcoin and other cryptic diseases as the first nation in the world. The central bank of the country, El Banco Central de Bolivia, said at the time that it was illegal “to use a kind of currency that will not be issued and controlled by the government.” There were also explicit cryptos such as Bitcoin and “Namecoin, Peercoin, Quark, Primecoin and Feathercoin “- cryptic fermentation which in 2014 were relatively hot, but have long since disappeared. Both the actual use as well as the indication of prices in such currencies was prohibited.

Bolivia is one of the poorer Latin American countries. It lies on a high plateau in the Andes between Argentina, Chile, Peru, Brazil and Paraguy. With the 113th place in the index of human development, Bolivia is more likely to be in the lower spectrum in Latin America and between Gabon and Moldova. With a gross domestic product of 3,000 dollars per head per year, the country is globally on the 122nd place. According to the World Bank, only 40 percent of residents have a bank account and only 20 percent have ordinary savings or access to loans.

Bitcoin could be useful to the country with an underdeveloped financial structure to promote the financial inclusion of citizens. The many Latin-American Bitcoin startups could help integrate the rather small Bolivian economy into the South American economy. However, unlike the South American countries of Argentina and Venezuela, Bolivia does not suffer from inflation in its own currency.

After devaluing the Boliviano in the 80s and 90s of the past century, the dollar has established itself as a factual second currency and succeeded in stabilizing the rate in 2004 by imposing a tax on domestic dollar transactions. This measure pushed the circulation of the dollar back into Bolivia and strengthened the course of Boliviano, which is even more stable than the euro. Since 2006, Bolivia, together with President Evo Morales, has been a stable government that, through the nationalization of the natural gas industry, has led to the economic development of the former poorest country in South America. Unlike Venezuela, where the socialism of Chavez has eclipsed the country economically, the milder variant of socialism practiced in Bolivia seems to work surprisingly well.

Given this monetary history, Bitcoin is perceived as a threat in Bolivia. As a result of the prohibitions, the Bitcoin community in Bolivia is small and is more in the bottom, reports the administrator of the “Bitcoin Bolivia” Facebook group, Alonso Vaca-Pareira. As the government put crypticism close to drug trafficking and other illegal activities, most people did not.

However, there has recently been a steep rise in the number of Google searches for Bitcoin in Bolivia. What exactly it has triggered is hard to say. The attention is in any case as high as never before. This may have caused the government to start and the arrest of the 60 Bitcoins will serve as a deterrent example.

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