Virtual currencies seem to gain many fans through the internet, but the truth is that they are neither a legal tender nor a financial instrument subject to supervision. And that by itself may lead lots of criminals to use currencies like Bitcoin, in order to proceed with money laundering and other criminal activities. That is the reason why the Monetary Authority of Macau (AMCM) has issued guidance prohibiting financial institutions operating in the region from providing financial services to any businesses involved in virtual currency.
The AMCM just a few days ago released a statement saying that Bitcoin it may help lot of people to conclude their transactions, but it is now a legal financial instrument. More precisely, they stated: “Bitcoin is a type of virtual commodity which is neither a legal tender nor a financial instrument subject to supervision. Any trading of these commodities involves considerable risks, including but not limited to those relating to money laundering and terrorism financing, against which all participants should remain vigilant.
Financial institutions and non-bank payment institutions are prohibited explicitly by Mainland authorities from providing services for these tokens and virtual currencies. At the same time, this Authority also issued a notice on 20 September 2017 to remind all the banking and payment institutions in Macao not to participate in or provide, directly or indirectly, any financial services for the related activities.”
In a few words, the statement underlined the recent events that took place in China some days ago. Just a couple days before the authorities announced a sweeping ban on all initial coin offerings after deeming them an “illegal” method of fundraising earlier this month. In general, the non – bank payment institutions will find it very difficult from now on to operate in China and in the Macau casinos.