Cryptocurrency has been a controversial topic since its existence. It has been widely criticized for its volatility and environmental impact, even being referred to as a “Ponzi scheme” by top economists. However, some countries still believe in the decentralization power of cryptos such as El Salvador, which made bitcoin legal tender in September 2021, now followed by Central African Republic in April of this year.
The legal status of cryptos varies from country to country. Here we list all the top countries that have made cryptos legal, illegal or unregulated (with some caveats).
In 2018, Algeria passed a finance law making all crypto transactions illegal. This includes holding and trading digital assets. Any violation of the law is punishable and punishable.
In 2014, Bolivia made crypto illegal. The Central Bank of Bolivia has issued a resolution banning cryptos in lieu of rug-pull cases and scams costing investors fortunes. According to the Bolivian government, cryptocurrencies should not be trusted as an investment.
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China’s central bank in September 2021, made all cryptocurrency related transactions illegal and imposed a blanket ban, sending the strongest signal yet of its determination to crack down on the industry.
All cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin and tether, are not fiat currency and cannot be circulated in the market, the People’s Bank of China said on its website. “All crypto-related transactions, including services, provided by offshore exchanges to domestic residents are illicit financial activities,” the PBOC said in the statement.
Cuba is the latest country to authorize and regulate cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
Egypt has classified cryptocurrencies like bitcoin as banned under Islamic law. Dar al-Ifta, the country’s main Islamic advisory body, issued a religious decree in 2018.
The 2020 country tightened banking laws in September 2020 to prevent trading or mining cryptos without a central bank license.
The European Union has not made the use of cryptos legal or illegal. It recognizes bitcoin and other digital assets as “crypto assets”.
In the meantime, The legislators of the European Union (EU) are tightening the regulations on cryptocurrency transfers given the increasing use of crypto assets for money laundering. According to Reuters, the new proposal will make it mandatory for cryptocurrency companies, such as EU-wide exchanges, to receive, store and transmit information about all of their users involved in remittances.
The proposals aim to expand the anti-money laundering (AML) requirement, a rule already in place in the conventional payments space. This would require crypto exchanges to report to authorities when a transaction over EUR 1,000 ($1100) occurs.
In 2018, the Central Bank of Indonesia enacted new regulations banning the use of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, as a means of payment.
The crypto industry in Iran is unregulated, the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) authorized domestic banks and money changers in April 2021 to use locally and licensed mined cryptocurrencies to pay for imports into the sanctioned nation.
The country has a very “love-hate” relationship with crypto. Iran announced a four-month ban on energy-intensive mining of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin after cities suffered unplanned outages due to massive crypto-mining operations in the country.
Notably, about 4.5 percent of the world’s bitcoin mining takes place in Iran, according to blockchain analytics firm Elliptic.
That Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Law, 2021 has yet to be presented by the government. The law seeks to ban all private cryptocurrencies in India, “however, it allows certain exceptions to promote the underlying technology of cryptocurrency and its use,” the document said.
India raised a tax of 30 percent on crypto investors and 1 percent TDS on each crypto intra trader. Currently, India has not regulated cryptos, but will not legalize them either.
the country is “fairly done” with his consultation paper on cryptocurrencies and has consulted with national and institutional stakeholders including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, Economy Secretary Ajay Seth said.
In January 2022, Russia’s Central Bank proposed to ban the use and mining of cryptocurrencies on Russian territory, citing threats to financial stability, the well-being of citizens and its monetary sovereignty.
The move is the latest in a global crackdown on cryptocurrencies as governments from Asia to the United States fear privately operated and highly volatile digital currencies could erode their control over financial and monetary systems.
Russia has argued against cryptocurrencies for years, saying they could be used to launder money or finance terrorism. However, Russia’s leaders use cryptocurrency to circumvent the sanctions imposed by the US and its allies following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, blockchain analytics firm Elliptic said. The research firm has tracked down a Russian crypto wallet that has “significant assets.”
In April 2021, the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey issued a regulation banning the use of cryptocurrencies in any form, directly or indirectly.
The United States
Cryptocurrencies are legal in the US. According to the US Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), bitcoin is a convertible currency with a value equivalent to real currency or a currency that can serve as a substitute for real currency. The Internal Revenue Service has also categorized bitcoin as property for tax purposes.