The Central Bank and its Maximum De-concentration Entities warned that, regarding to the use of digital assets or currencies known as crypto-coins and the like, participants in the financial, securities, insurance and pension markets, as well as exchange houses, remittance agents, economic sectors and the general public must be aware of the risks associated with their acquisition and use either as financial savings or as a means of payment in Costa Rica.
The Organic Law of the Central Bank, in articles 42 to 51, establishes the colón as the monetary unit of the Republic of Costa Rica. Likewise, the Law designates the Central Bank as the sole issuer of banknotes and coins in circulation and establishes the unlimited libertarian power of the colon to liquidate all kinds of pecuniary obligations, both public and private.
Therefore, bitcoin and other similar crypto-coins are not supported by the Central Bank of Costa Rica, and since they are not issued by a foreign central bank, they cannot be considered as foreign currency or currency under the exchange rate regime, so they are not covered by the security offered by exchange intermediation nor the free convertibility of the currency, established in Articles 48 and 49 of the Organic Law of the Central Bank.
It is important to clarify that these digital coins cannot be considered as legal tender currencies and therefore do not have the support of the State. Their effectiveness or use as a means of payment in this economy cannot be guaranteed, nor can anyone be forced to accept them as a means of payment in transactions of goods and services.
The Central Bank and its Maximum De-concentration Entities emphasize that they do not regulate or supervise in any way bitcoins as a means of payment, and even stresses that they are impeded from transacting through the National System of Electronic Payments (SINPE) used in the country.
Likewise, if any financial institution for any reason is directly or indirectly involved in the commercialization or use of any nature of these digital assets with its customers, said transaction will be carried out at its own risk and that of its customers, in accordance with the obligation established by the prudential regulations on the prevention of the money laundering and financing of terrorism, which imposes the duty on financial institutions to carry out the necessary risk analysis regarding new technologies.
Any person who acquires such digital assets, either as a form of savings or with the intention of using them as a means of payment, and those who accept it with that function in commercial transactions, will also do so at their own risk. As a result, it is noted that they will be incurring in transactions not contemplated by the banking regulations nor by the payment mechanisms authorized by the Central Bank of Costa Rica.