The ban would have to be executed by banks, which would be instructed to block transfers to cryptocurrency exchanges
The idea of a formal ban on buying cryptocurrencies was first mentioned last week, during a meeting of the parliamentary Public Finance Committee discussing blockchain technology. In the course of the meeting Polish Bank Association president Krzysztof Pietraszkiewicz said that the Financial Supervision Authority and National Bank of Poland, which have been warning about the risks associated with investing in cryptocurrencies for a while now, should consider taking the next step and preparing regulations banning investing in digital money within the next several months.
– The cryptocurrency market is changing so quickly that it's impossible for it not to experience sudden corrections. Warnings against investing on this market issued by the regulator are therefore justified, and within the next few months we might want to take further steps that ban such investments – he said.
The Polish Bank Association president confirmed his views on digital currencies when I asked him about it during a press conference on Monday. He thinks his approach is justified because the many millions of złotys Poles have invested in digital currencies might be at risk. At the same time, he believes cryptocurrencies may be used by criminals for obtaining ransoms or laundering money.
Pietraszkiewicz did not say how a ban on digital currency investments could be enforced given the prevalence of internet access. He did underline, however, that the implementation of appropriate regulations should be undertaken by national institutions, such as the Financial Supervision Authority. Pietraszkiewicz also mentioned that he sees no contradiction in developing blockchain technology, which is the basis of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
In the meantime, I found out off-the-record that the concept of banning digital currency investments is growing and there have already been some initial concepts on how to implement it. One of them includes the regulator issuing recommendations for banks to block transfers made by their customers to accounts that are associated with cryptocurrency exchanges and other companies that offer digital currencies, such as the infamous DasCoin.