The governor of Costa Rica’s central bank has warned the public about the risks of investing in cryptocurrency, but has also stated that tokens such as bitcoin (BTC) are “not illegal” in the country.
According to Deporticos, Rodrigo Cubero, President of the Banco Central de Costa Rica, has not ruled out the possibility of the government attempting to regulate the sector, saying:
“While the use of [cryptoassets] is legal in Costa Rica, individuals who wish to acquire these assets do so at their own risk and expense. As a result, it is critical that anyone who decides to acquire this type of digital asset is well informed about its characteristics as well as the risks associated with [trading].”
Cubero was quick to point out that while consumers are free to invest freely, they will be unable to access legal resources in the event of capital loss due to “high volatility.”
The Costa Rican Ministry of Finance previously ruled out the possibility of allowing citizens to pay their taxes with cryptocurrency.
And Cubero appeared to defy a growing global trend by claiming that the bank did not need to launch a central bank digital currency right away (CBDC).
The President claimed that the move was unnecessary because the main goals of CBDC projects – financial inclusion and the provision of safe, fast, and low-cost digitized payments – were already a reality thanks to the National Electronic Payment System (SINPE) platform.
The latter was created by the central bank, which claims that SINPE has linked the country’s financial entities and public institutions via a private telecommunications network. According to the central bank, it intends to add functionality and upgrade SINPE to facilitate cross-currency payments and settlements between fiat colón and USD accounts.
He also claimed that the colón was currently strengthening, owing largely to the central bank’s digitization efforts – a fact that reduced the need for a Costa Rican CBDC to be launched.