Bangladesh's central bank has warned that anyone using bitcoin in the country could face a jail term of up to 12 years.
In a statement, the bank warns that the cryptocurrency is "not a legal tender of any country" and that using it is a "punishable offence" under recently introduced anti-money laundering laws.
"Transactions through bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency like it is not recognised by the Bangladesh Bank or any other agency of the Bangladesh government," says the statement.
The warning was issued after media reports about people using bitcoin and bank officials told the AFP wire service that anyone found guilty of transacting in the currency faces up to 12 years in jail.
Bitcoin has been banned in Ecuador and Bolivia and faced severe restrictions on its use in other countries, notably China, as governments scramble to formulate their approaches to the new form of money.
In contrast, the UK government has made positive noises about cryptocurrencies, with Chancellor George Osborne recently promising to look into how regulation can help make Britain a central hub for the nascent industry.