Cryptocurrency Regulation in Burundi Prior to 2024

As of 2023, the legislative landscape for cryptocurrencies in Burundi remained highly restrictive. The Burundian government had implemented a total ban on all cryptocurrency transactions as early as 2019. This decision was driven by concerns over potential fraud, criminal activities, and the inherent volatility associated with cryptocurrencies.

Despite the ban, there was evidence suggesting continued underground trading of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Tether, Cardano, USDT, XRP, and Monero in Burundi. These activities were primarily limited to tech-savvy individuals who were willing to navigate the legal risks involved.

The Burundian government’s stance did not recognize any cryptocurrency as legal tender and did not establish regulations for their use. Anyone found to be trading or transacting in cryptocurrencies faced legal penalties, although the specifics of these penalties were unclear and seemed to be determined on a case-by-case basis. The government had issued explicit warnings against cryptocurrency use, highlighting risks including financial loss and criminal liability.

Given the blanket ban on all cryptocurrency transactions, it was inferred that cryptocurrency gambling, including online casinos and sports betting sites accepting cryptocurrencies, was also illegal in Burundi.

In summary, up to 2023, Burundi maintained a prohibitive stance towards cryptocurrencies, focusing on control and protection rather than outright opposition to blockchain technology​​​​​​​​​​​​.

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