David - Cryptocurrency Enthusiast
In a recent move, the Federal Republic of Somalia has chosen to prohibit the usage of the crypto-friendly messaging application Telegram, alongside the popular social media platform TikTok, and the online gambling site 1XBet. Despite this decision, legal cryptocurrency investments remain unaffected and are not subject to prohibition.
The Ministry of Communications and Technology (MOCT) of Somalia officially declared on August 20th that the government would be taking steps to shut down Telegram, TikTok, and 1XBet.
During discussions on telecommunications and internet security, MOCT Minister Jama Hassan Khalif, in collaboration with the National Communications Agency and major Somali telecom companies, emphasized the government's commitment to preserving the cultural values of Somali society. The minister noted that the pervasive presence of telecom and internet devices has led to changes in lifestyles, often contributing to undesirable habits.
The official statement from MOCT underlined the necessity to halt the operation of TikTok, Telegram, and the gambling platform 1XBet. These platforms were believed to have negatively influenced Somali youth, resulting in unfortunate consequences.
Reports suggest that Somalia's decision to ban these platforms is also motivated by the desire to curb the dissemination of inappropriate content and propaganda. Minister Khalif reportedly expressed that the internet companies providing these applications must comply with the order to cease operations by August 24. Failure to adhere to this directive will prompt appropriate legal actions.
Although it remains unclear whether the ban on Telegram and other platforms will impact Somalia's cryptocurrency adoption, it is essential to note that investing in cryptocurrency, including trusted Bitcoin, is not restricted within the country. Nonetheless, it's worth mentioning that like various global jurisdictions, concerns regarding the potential association of cryptocurrencies with terrorism financing risks are often raised.
This development closely follows Iraq's recent decision to lift the ban on Telegram in mid-August. The initial ban had been imposed due to concerns about personal data and security.
In April, Brazil suspended Telegram in response to an investigation into neo-Nazi groups using the platform to incite harmful activities. Telegram faced penalties of approximately $186 million for non-compliance with the investigation into these illicit activities on their platform.