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HKMA reminds public to be aware of risks associated with Bitcoin

The following is issued on behalf of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority:

     Regarding media enquiries about reports filed to the Police concerning a Bitcoin company, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority responded today (February 11) as follows:

     We noticed that people affected have reported their cases to the Police and the incident may involve fraud or pyramid schemes.  The HKMA does not comment on specific cases.

     The HKMA has repeatedly reminded the public through the media about the risks involved in Bitcoin trading. We would like to reiterate that Bitcoin is not a legal tender but a virtual "commodity". As Bitcoin does not have any backing - either in physical form or from the issuer - and its pricing is highly volatile, it does not qualify as a means of payment or electronic money.

     "Bitcoin and other similar virtual commodities are not regulated by the HKMA. Given the highly speculative nature of Bitcoin, we would like to remind the public to exercise extra caution when considering making transactions or investments with Bitcoin," said an HKMA spokesperson.

Ends/Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Issued at HKT 18:38


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