Wilson Vera, representative of the entity, clarifies that bitcoin is not accepted in Ecuador. Entrepreneurs created a special cashier to acquire this currency. In the face of the bitcoin fever that the world is experiencing since the end of last year and due to the recent reports of scams related to cryptocurrency in Ecuador, economic authorities warn that its use is not allowed in the country and invite citizens to stay alert.
The reason? The Board of the Monetary and Financial Regulation Policy has not issued any provision that recognizes bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency. According to article 98, paragraph 3, the Monetary and Financial Organic Code prohibits the circulation and reception of currency and money without the approval of the Board. In simple terms, cryptocurrencies are not admitted in Ecuador as an instrument for the purchase and sale of goods or services.
Wilson Vera, delegate of the Executive before the Monetary Board, explained that a payment mechanism should have as its main characteristic the widespread acceptance in commercial establishments and
among users. In addition, it does not generate large variations in its price. The global boom of bitcoin is due to the speculative level it reached in the financial markets. His best moment came at the beginning of 2018 when his quotation was close to $ 20,000.
This precipitous rise meant that hundreds of people were tempted to invest large amounts of money through networks that promised significant profitability in the very short term. More than 1,500 indigenous people were victims of a scam that was reported in Cotopaxi at the end of January.
So far the authorities do not find those responsible. They gave $ 27,500 to advisers on a digital platform that in turn offered to triple their income. The case intensified the prevention campaign of regulatory bodies because bitcoin, unlike the dollar, does not have the backing of a formal institution, whether public or financial system, which responds in case of problems.
“Most people bought bitcoin in the $ 14,000 and $ 16,000 rise range, but it came to a time when the speculation capped and the bubble began to break. There is no backup. People do not have anywhere to go. “To avoid this type of situation, Vera recommended taking into account that something is wrong in any operation where high retribution is offered in record time.
In Quito, the first cryptocurrency ATM was installed
Although the Monetary Code does not authorize the use of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment, it does not mention prohibitions to make investments.
Taking advantage of this legal vacuum, Danny Ledesma along with 7 other entrepreneurs installed last Thursday in Quito the first ATM to buy and sell cryptocurrencies in the country, but not to negotiate goods or services. At the moment it accepts bitcoins, dash and pure transactions with up to $ 100.
Ledesma and his team of ‘cryptosensors’ have been involved in the issue for more than a year. He said that cryptocurrencies are the money of the future because the technological platform on which they rely (blockchain) offers more exchange facilities. With their project they seek to train people to avoid scams like the one that occurred with indigenous people. Far from opposing a regulation, Ledesma considers that it is the opportune moment to analyze, together with the regulatory authorities, the viability of the correct use of these tools, protecting the users. (I)