Egypt’s central bank said it has no intention of issuing legislation or passing a special law that allows the trading of digital currency, including bitcoin, in a statement Wednesday.
The statement added that the cryptocurrency is not recognized in financial and banking transactions.
” So far there is no legislation or law on virtual currencies that allows electronic circulation in Egypt,” the statement read.
Egypt’s first bitcoin exchange will go live later this month, the founders of Bitcoin Egypt said, linking the Middle East’s most populous country with a cryptocurrency that has surged in value in recent months.
The central bank’s response came just hours after a handful of publications reported the launch of Bitcoin Egypt, which is expected at the end of August.
According to Reuters, many governments around the world are still mulling on how to regulate and classify bitcoin, a volatile digital currency that has captured the interest of speculative investors worldwide as its value has soared, roughly quadrupling since the start of 2017 and trading at around $4,400 on Thursday.
“We’re still waiting on the Egyptian government to set some kind of regulations…Without any laws, bitcoin is not legal money in Egypt,” Bitcoin Egypt founder Rami Khalil told Reuters earlier this week.
In June, Egypt’s central bank made an official statement denying the rumors that suggested it was exploring the use of digital currency such as bitcoin and was considering allowing its circulation and trading within the banking sector.
“For the stability of the Egyptian banking system, the banks deal with the official currencies only, and never deal with any virtual currencies,” deputy governor Gamal Negm, said.