Rise up to challenges of cryptocurrency

10 March, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Despite a ban on any form of transaction through digital currencies or cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin or Ripple by Bangladesh Bank, such dubious digital transactions are apparently flourishing. The digital currencies have broken geographical boundaries across different states as they are released by anonymous persons or groups and are not owned or regulated by any state authorities.

However, as this instrument is designed to bypass national regulatory authorities like central banks, it is increasingly becoming a boon for illegal deals such as money laundering and terror financing. This is all the more worrying for Bangladesh as our law enforcers lack wherewithal to check virtual transactions. Bangladesh Bank has banned cryptocurrencies and from time to time issued warning against its use, but on the ground the authorities seem to have hardly any idea about it users.

Only recently the Special Action Group of Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime Unit (CTTC) under the DMP came to know from two arrested militants that militant groups in the country were doing internal as well as foreign transaction through cryptocurrencies. Quoting law enforcers a daily sun report informs that during interrogation, the militants said they collected huge money from abroad in the form of Bitcoin. They had been receiving money through the system since 2014. The militants also said they used to collect money through hundi previously but the hundi system was under the surveillance of law enforcers, forcing them to go for Bitcoin.

The information gleaned from the two radicals helped the Special Action Group go deep into the transaction through cryptocurrency. But the authorities have admitted that it is almost an uphill task for them to check the use of digital currencies as they lack technological devices. One may think that it runs counter to our claim that we have advanced digitally as a nation.

By now it is all but clear that only a ban on cryptocurreny will not solve the problem; because it is a tricky issue and law enforces must rise up to the challenges by acquiring technological knowhow and devices.