Bitcoins and other virtual currencies have taken over many parts of the world and people from all over are buying and selling bitcoins, however, there are still some countries where the buying and selling of bitcoin are considered illegal.
There are a few countries where Bitcoin is banned. At the same time, there are countries that have accepted bitcoin and people there can use bitcoin to pay their taxes, buy necessities and even trade bitcoin. But in other countries, even if you own a bitcoin, you may be sent to jail just because of it.
Bitcoin is a new currency and it is not as mature as the currency notes so it may take the time up to a few decades for it to be accepted by the whole world like people use currency notes. But as many countries are accepting it, it has a chance of becoming accepted and legal in some time and becoming the world’s currency.
Countries Where Bitcoin is banned
Bitcoin is accepted by many countries but there are countries where the use of bitcoin is completely banned. The reason for banning bitcoin in these countries is that bitcoins have a decentralized nature, and in some countries, people are afraid that bitcoin can put a threat to their financial systems. However, some countries have an issue like bitcoins are not properly regulated so they don’t accept them. Out of all the countries, nine countries are there which don’t accept bitcoin, and they are as follows:
- Bangladesh: Bangladesh doesn’t accept bitcoin due to money laundering issues, so Bangladesh’s banks have declared bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies unauthorized and illegal.
- Ghana: In Ghana, cryptocurrencies are considered illegal but the government of Ghana is seeking ways in which they can adjust the bitcoin in their financial system.
- Algeria: The reason Algeria has banned cryptocurrencies is that it has no physical appearance and it is only virtual currency.
- Dominican Republic: The Dominican Republic says that bitcoin is not a legal tender, so they have banned cryptocurrencies.
- Qatar: The Qatar government has banned cryptocurrency due to the following reasons: they think that bitcoin can be involved in financial crimes, as the price of bitcoin keeps on changing they think it is not a good way to include it in their system, and as bitcoin is not supported by the central government they have completed banned the bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
- Nepal: Nepal has the same reason to ban cryptocurrency it is not legal.
- Bolivia: The Central Bank of Bolivia has banned cryptocurrency as they have an unregulated nature.
- Vanuatu: In some news, it was said that Vanuatu accepts bitcoin in return for citizenship. But this thing was denied by their Citizenship office and they said that they only take USD for citizenship.
- The Republic of Macedonia: The people in the Republic of Macedonia are cautioned that they must not have any crypto properties or securities as it is considered illegal in the state.
Legally Restricted Countries
So we discussed that there are countries where the use of bitcoin is banned however there are some other countries too where the use of bitcoin is legally restricted. This means that bitcoin can’t be used for trading or payments. In these countries, the government has banned the exchanges of cryptocurrencies and banks cannot deal with them. Here is a list of countries where bitcoin use is restricted:
- Iran: In Iran, financial organizations cannot take control or charge of cryptocurrencies.
- Saudi Arabia: In Saudi Arabia, the use of cryptocurrency was once forbidden but now it has become legal but still banks can’t handle the cryptocurrencies.
- Bahrain: In Bahrain, if anyone wants to use cryptocurrency then they need to have a license to use the cryptocurrency asset.
- Kazakhstan: In Kazakhstan, there is a heavy ban by banks on cryptocurrency andthe use and exchange of cryptocurrency are completely banned.
- China: China has a digital currency called Yuan that offers on-chain salaries. In China, there has been researched cryptocurrency for many years and they have been trading for a long time in cryptocurrency they have their rules of currency in ICOs which stands for Initial Coin Offerings. China has 70% of the mining facilities of bitcoin but they are only used by officials for some particular reasons.
- Turkey: In Turkey, cryptocurrency is not allowed in the banks and the citizens cannot use it for payment purposes.
- Hong Kong: In Hong Kong, a law might come into force that individuals who have more than $1 Million in crypto investment might be restricted but Hong Kong has its specifications for ICOs, and all the crypto exchanges need to be regulated first before they are done.
- Vietnam: In Vietnam, bitcoin trading is not allowed and State Bank should not be involved in that but an average user can have a tolerable share of cryptocurrency however research is also underway within the country to fully understand cryptocurrency.
- Russia: In Russia, crypto trading and exchange are legal but it is restricted. If someone wants to trade then they must need to have their cryptocurrencies registered by the Central Bank but cryptocurrency cannot be used as a method of payment.
Although trading and investment in most countries are restricted still many people trade on online platforms like Local Bitcoins. Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies are decentralized in nature so it is almost impossible to put a ban on these currencies, the ones who want to invest in them can seek any platform for their investment.
The research conducted led to the outcome that 111 states in the world recognize bitcoin as legal and it is also recognized by their government. In The United States of America and Canada, bitcoin is legal and they also take anticipatory measures to prevent fraud. In the European Union, the associates can do crypto exchanges complying with the rules and regulations.
Following are the countries where cryptocurrency is considered legal:
- Barbados: All sorts of cryptocurrencies are legal in Barbados. They have their currency in digital form which is called DCash, it become active in 2022.
- Chile: In Chile, cryptocurrencies are protected in the country’s money and the exchanges are also protected.
- Australia: In 2017 cryptocurrencies, bitcoins, and digital assets became active in Australia and there is a Capital Tax on them.
- Belgium: In Belgium, cryptocurrencies are under income tax. The country accepts it as a substitute for money but they have still not considered it legal.
- Antigua: In Antigua, a bill was issued to give protection to crypto users and crypto exchanges, and soon it will become legal in the country as people can pay cryptocurrencies in return for citizenship.
- Bulgaria: In Bulgaria, a crypto license is not required for trading or business and here the cryptocurrency is treated as an income from financial assets.
- Finland: Cryptocurrency is legal in Finland and they have an authority called The Financial Authority that authorizes cryptocurrency there.
- Croatia: The government in Croatia has already notified the people about the great risk associated with cryptocurrencies. They gain over 12 to 18% tax from the crypto threshold which is 3800 HRK.
- Germany: The Germans are allowed to buy, trade, and sell cryptocurrencies and crypto assets but they need to be licensed.
- Estonia: The government of Estonia has not recognized Cryptocurrency as a legal tender but still people over there can use virtual currencies as a method of payment.
- Ireland: Cryptocurrency is recognized in Ireland and people can use it but it is taxed in a different way.
- Lithuania: Lithuania is considered the first country which had a crypto framework and taxation and they earn around 2500 euros which is tax-free.
- Indonesia: In Indonesia, cryptocurrency became legal in 2019 and since then cryptocurrencies are considered commodities but they cannot be used as a method of payment.
- Malta: Malta is home to many cryptocurrencies like OKEx and Binance because of its exposed stance.
- Marshall Islands: The legal currencies in the Marshall Islands are sovereign and SOV and they are governed under blockchain technology.
- Mauritius: In Mauritius, cryptocurrency is legal and it is regulated in Digital Assets.
- Philippines: In the Philippines, cryptocurrencies are under security and are regulated by SEC. If any crypto exchange or other services occur then they are ruled under the Central Bank of the Philippines.
- Switzerland: Switzerland accepted cryptocurrencies in 2017 and registered them as the method of payment but if institutions are involved in crypto exchanges then they need a license for it. Overall, cryptocurrency has a positive standpoint in Switzerland.
- United States: Cryptocurrency in the United States requires tax laws and it is kept in pace only if the sales require cryptocurrency.
- Uzbekistan: In Uzbekistan, cryptocurrency is legal and accepted all over as an income and there is no taxation on exchanges but they do require a license for the exchanges or any other crypto-related operations.
- United Kingdom: In the UK, bitcoin is considered the private property of private money and if exchanges take place then they need to follow FCA specifications.
- United Arab Emirates: Cryptocurrency is widely accepted in the United Arab Emirates and they have had their blockchain strategy since 2022 to make all their transactions into blockchains soon they will have a government that will be empowered by blockchain.
Apart from these, there are other countries like Anguilla, Argentina, Afghanistan, Brunei, Albania, Costa Rica, Haiti, Honduras, India, Cuba, Kenya, Jamaica, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Moldova, Mexico, Samoa, Zimbabwe, and some other countries too where the use of bitcoin is either legal or illegal. But these countries still use cryptocurrencies with caution. Cryptocurrencies have crackdowns and due to this reason people have a fear of investing in cryptocurrencies and so they prefer using traditional currency notes or banks for their work purpose.
Nonetheless, more people from all countries and governments are slowly trying to accept cryptocurrencies. However, some countries are poor but are using bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, but when the crackdown on cryptocurrencies occurs they are put at risk of losing a lot and being left out and their conditions don’t seem to improve in any aspect. But on another side, cryptocurrencies provide a great opportunity for people and cryptocurrencies can bring a great change to the economy of the country as their prices seem to rise every other day this investment by people can be fruitful for the whole country and it can provide a good standard of living to the people of the country.