Countries Where Bitcoin is Banned or Legal in 2024

In October 2023, the Australian treasury announced plans to introduce a regulatory framework, with a draft to be released sometime in 2024. There will be a 12-month transitionary period if the bitcoin legal country framework is approved and implemented. Cryptocurrencies are intangible assets in South Africa as of 2014; however, the country wants to increase crypto regulation and embrace cryptocurrencies.

  1. While some countries like El Salvador are embracing cryptocurrencies, others like China are leading sustained crackdowns on their use.
  2. On April 20, 2023 the European Parliament passed the Markets in Cryptoassets (MiCA) Regulation.
  3. As for it being legitimate, it depends on your understanding and what you think about it.
  4. In fact, the Qatari Central Bank was quick to warn citizens in May 2022 about dealing with any unregulated financial firm after CoinMENA, a Muslim law compliant exchange launched in the country.

While some states have explicitly allowed its use and trade, others have banned or restricted it. Likewise, various government agencies, departments, and courts have classified cryptocurrencies differently. In such cases, the usage of BTC is legal in the sense that you can own it, but there are no clear rules or legal protection concerning its status. These countries are either already creating a legal framework for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, or have taken a wait-and-see approach.

Owning and transacting cryptocurrencies in South Africa using an exchange is not illegal and is not fully regulated. Specifically, South Africa wants to increase regulation to avoid using Bitcoin for criminal activities and guard against money laundering and terrorism. The South African Reserve Bank plans to limit banks’ exposure to crypto-assets as they can create financial instability in the long run.

Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) created a report on global cryptocurrency regulation. The report identified select countries whose governments directed their financial regulatory agencies to develop regulations and priorities for financial institutions regarding cryptocurrencies and their use in AML/CFT. Kevin started in the cryptocurrency space in 2016 and began investing in Bitcoin before exclusively trading digital currencies on various brokers, exchanges and trading platforms. He started HedgewithCrypto to publish informative guides about Bitcoin and share his experiences with using a variety of crypto exchanges around the world. While Bitcoin might still be banned in certain countries, digital assets in other various forms will still be accepted.

Despite the skepticism from entities like the International Monetary Fund, Bukele’s administration has remained steadfast in its commitment to bitcoin, integrating it into the nation’s economy and planning future projects. Furthermore, Morocco’s Foreign Exchange Office announced that any divergences from the law violate the foreign exchange regulations and are punishable with fines. Still, data shows that Bitcoin transactions on LocalBitcoins are gaining momentum despite the imposed ban. President Zelensky intends to create a dual currency system similar to El Salvador and create a crypto mecca by 2023. Moreover, Ukraine plans to make bitcoin mining a new reality, using green mining through nuclear power sources. It is legal to trade and hold bitcoin as well as other cryptocurrencies in Belgium.

Defining Bitcoin

The German Federal Central Tax Office or Bundeszentralamt für Steuern (BZSt) treats bitcoin and other virtual currencies as private money for tax purposes. Bitcoin is not treated as foreign currency, legal tender, nor property under the German Tax Acts. On 16 April 2021, the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey issued a regulation banning the use of cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, directly or indirectly, to pay for goods and services. The following day, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan went further and issued a decree that crypto exchanges to a list of firms subject to anti-money laundering and terrorism financing rules. Cryptos are prohibited in Mexico, stating in June 2021 that virtual assets were not legal tender and not considered currencies under existing laws.

Countries Where Bitcoin Is Legal

It was amended over the following two years, and in October 2022, a final compromised edition was sent to the EC for a vote. On April 20, 2023 the European Parliament passed the Markets in Cryptoassets (MiCA) Regulation. MiCA regulates services related to cryptoassets and stablecoins, and it will be enacted by early 2025. Bukele’s victory underscores the population’s overwhelming support for his leadership and his unconventional policies, including the adoption of bitcoin as legal tender​​​​​​. Because of the interest in digital payment systems around the world, El Salvador’s experience could be informative. But the country has been tight-lipped about its experience, much to the chagrin of the International Monetary Fund.

Are There Any Regulations on Crypto?

However, for tax assessment, they must be converted to the Swiss Franc at the year’s end at a rate provided by the government. There is no specific legislation that bans the mining or trading of Bitcoin in the country. Exchanges and other businesses must obtain a license from the government before providing services, and taxes are paid for selling Bitcoin if the intent behind the sale and the preceding purchase was to sell the currency and not hold it. The Swedish jurisdiction is in general quite favorable for bitcoin businesses and users as compared to other countries within the EU and the rest of the world. The governmental regulatory and supervisory body Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (Finansinspektionen) have legitimized the fast growing industry by publicly proclaiming bitcoin and other digital currencies as a means of payment.

Each country defines the legal status of Bitcoin, and its legal status is determined by how the law is stated, and whether it is included in the current financial system or defined outside of it. Thus, this article considers Bitcoin legal if people can transact it freely despite Central Banks trying to restrict access to digital assets. Malta has been at the forefront of embracing transactions involving bitcoin, consequently being dubbed as “The Blockchain Island”. Besides providing for a sophisticated regulatory regime for digital assets, in 2018 Malta also introduced tax guidelines on transactions involving digital assets, including cryptocurrencies.

The Authorite des Marches Financiers, the financial regulator in the province of Quebec, has declared that some bitcoin related business models, including exchanges and ATMs, are regulated under its current MSB Act. Australia is currently working on creating a licensing framework for cryptocurrency exchanges. Japanese regulators have historically taken a hands-off approach that has allowed Bitcoin and digital assets to prosper and evolve in the country. The U.S. Treasury classified bitcoin as a convertible decentralized virtual currency in 2013.

How Long Does It Take To Transfer Bitcoin?

Several nations have outright banned digital currency, while others have tried to cut off any banking and financial system support essential for its trading and use. France has implemented regulations for cryptocurrencies and crypto assets as identified by the Monetary and Financial Code (MFC). The government has defined digital assets as utility tokens, payment tokens, and security tokens. The law means citizens will be able to pay taxes in Bitcoin, and shops will be able to display prices in the digital currency. Money exchanged into the currency will also not be subject to capital gains tax. CNBC notes that the move makes El Salvador the first country to officially have Bitcoin on its balance sheet and to hold it as part of its reserves.

El Salvador has been preparing to support the cryptocurrency for months, after passing the legislation in June. Last month it began installing 200 ATMs around the country to allow citizens to convert between the country’s two official currencies. It’s also launching its own digital wallet called “Chivo,” which awards users $30 of free Bitcoin to encourage adoption. In an effort to boost financial inclusion, El Salvador made Bitcoin an official currency and offered incentives for adopting it.

Because this ledger is sent to everyone in the system, it becomes hard for anyone to cheat the system with a false ledger. The Decree On the Development of Digital Economy — the decree of Alexander Lukashenko, the President of the Republic of Belarus, which includes measures to liberalize the conditions for conducting business in the sphere of high technologies. The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and investing carries risks. The U.S. Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has issued guidance on Bitcoin since 2013. The Treasury has defined Bitcoin as a convertible currency with an equivalent value in real currency or one that can act as a substitute for it. Erika Rasure is globally-recognized as a leading consumer economics subject matter expert, researcher, and educator.

The Salvadorian Congress passed the bill including this change in a vote in favor of the change. While Bitcoin is not a legally-recognized currency in most countries, it has become a popular asset and inspired a wide range of new blockchains and services over its 12-year life. The concept of Bitcoin is laid out in a white paper written under the pseudonym, Satoshi Nakamoto. In this white paper, Satoshi explains the ideas behind a peer-to-peer digital payment system removed from financial institutions and government control. Their goal was to create a transaction ecosystem that could be verified by anyone while still allowing for individual privacy. In this piece, we will take a look at 15 countries where bitcoin is legal and illegal.

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