It’s still illegal in several countries to mine or trade a cryptocurrency like bitcoin. Bolivia officially outlawed cryptocurrency in 2014 and recently started cracking down on the growing bitcoin community. The Bolivian Financial System Supervision Authority released a statement about 60 cryptocurrency advocates arrested last week because “the only thing these people are doing” is taking advantage of Bolivian people and tricking them in a “pyramid scheme.”
Bolivian authorities warned the public to avoid WhatsApp groups with bitcoin traders. Law enforcement agencies reportedly are monitoring social media groups devoted to virtual currencies like bitcoin. Although the Grant Thornton International Business Report estimated 46 percent of 2016 extortion attacks involved hackers demanding a ransom in bitcoin, there’s no evidence to suggest the Bolivian defendants were involved in this type of cybercrime.
On the contrary, these arrests referred to cryptocurrency exchanges as financial fraud. And Bolivia isn’t the only country criminalizing blockchain currencies.