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Bitcoin ban: These are the countries where crypto is restricted or illegal

Bitcoin ban: These are the countries where crypto is restricted or illegal
Written by publisher team

Bitcoin has been controversial since its inception in 2009, and so has the subsequent cryptocurrency that followed.

While it has been widely criticized for its volatility, its use in nefarious transactions and the exorbitant use of electricity for its mining, Bitcoin, particularly in the developing world, is viewed by some as a safe haven during economic storms.

But as more and more people turn to cryptocurrency as an investment or a lifeline, these problems have manifested in a host of restrictions on their use.

The legal status of bitcoin and other altcoins (altcoins for bitcoin) varies greatly from country to country, while in some countries, the relationship remains properly defined or is constantly changing.

While the majority of countries do not make the use of Bitcoin itself illegal, its status as a means of payment or as a commodity varies with regulatory implications.

Some countries have put restrictions on the way Bitcoin can be used, with banks banning their customers from conducting cryptocurrency transactions. Other countries have banned the use of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies entirely with heavy penalties for anyone who conducts crypto transactions.

These are the countries that have a particularly fraught relationship with Bitcoin and other altcoins.

Algeria

Algeria currently bans the use of cryptocurrencies after the passage of a financial law in 2018 that made it illegal to buy, sell, use or possess virtual currencies.

Bolivia

There has been a complete ban on the use of Bitcoin in Bolivia since 2014. The Bolivian Central Bank has issued a decree banning it and any other currency that is not regulated by a country or economic region.

China

China cracked down on cryptocurrencies with increasing intensity throughout 2021. Chinese officials issued repeated warnings to its people to stay out of the digital asset market and heavily stressed mining in the country as well as currency exchange in China and abroad.

On August 27, Yin Youping, deputy director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), referred to cryptocurrencies as speculative assets and warned people to “protect their pockets.”

Efforts to undermine Bitcoin – a decentralized currency outside the control of governments and institutions – are largely seen as an attempt by Chinese authorities to float its electronic currency.

The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) is looking to be one of the first major central banks in the world to launch its own digital currency, and in doing so will be able to closely monitor the transactions of its employees.

On September 24, the PBoC went further and Totally Prohibited Cryptocurrency Transactions in the country.

Colombia

In Colombia, financial institutions are not allowed to facilitate bitcoin transactions. Superintendencia Financiera warned financial institutions in 2014 that they may not “protect, invest, broker or manage virtual money operations”.

Egypt

Egypt’s Dar Al Iftaa, the country’s main Islamic advisory body, issued a religious decree in 2018, classifying bitcoin transactions as “haram,” which is prohibited under Islamic law. Although the laws of Egyptian banks are not binding, they were tightened in September 2020 to prevent the circulation or promotion of cryptocurrencies without a license from the Central Bank.

Indonesia

Bank Indonesia, the country’s central bank, has issued new regulations banning the use of cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, as a means of payment as of January 1, 2018.

Iran

Bitcoin has a complex relationship with the Iranian regime. In order to avoid the worst impact of crippling economic sanctions, Iran has instead resorted to the lucrative practice of bitcoin mining in order to finance imports.

While the central bank has banned the circulation of cryptocurrencies mined abroad, it has encouraged bitcoin mining in the country with incentives.

About 4.5 percent of the world’s bitcoin mining takes place in Iran, which, according to blockchain analytics firm Elliptic, could represent more than $1 billion (€843 million) in revenue.

In order for the cryptocurrency industry to flourish, Iran has offered licensed miners cheap energy but is required to sell all the cryptocurrency that has been mined to the central bank.

However, unlicensed mining drains more than 2 gigawatts of power from the national grid every day, causing power shortages.

To this end, the Iranian authorities have issued a four-month ban on bitcoin mining until September 22.

India

India is becoming increasingly hostile to cryptocurrencies. On November 23, the government announced its intention to introduce a new bill to the Indian Parliament that would create a new digital currency backed by the central bank as well as Ban almost all cryptocurrencies.

Earlier this year, it had considered criminalizing the possession, issuance, mining, trading and transfer of crypto assets. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that he wants to ensure that cryptocurrencies do not end up in the wrong hands, which could spoil our youth.

Iraq

Despite the continuous efforts of the authorities to prevent its use, the popularity of cryptocurrencies is increasing in Iraq. The CBI has been particularly hostile, issuing a statement in 2017 banning its use that remains in effect to this day. In early 2021, the KRG Ministry of Interior issued similar guidelines to stop brokerage firms and exchanges dealing with cryptocurrency.

Nepal

The Nepal Rastra Bank has declared Bitcoin illegal as of August 2017.

North Macedonia

Macedonia is so far the only European country to have an official ban on cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and others.

Russia

While cryptocurrency is not banned in Russia, there is an ongoing struggle against its use.

Russia issued its first cryptocurrency regulation in July 2020, which for the first time designated cryptocurrency as taxable property.

The law, which took effect in January of this year, also prohibits Russian civil servants from owning any crypto assets.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly linked cryptocurrency to criminal activity, calling for more attention to cross-border crypto transactions in particular.

In July, the attorney general announced proposed new legislation that would allow police to seize cryptocurrencies believed to have been illegally obtained under the pretext of being used for bribery.

Turkey

Many in Turkey have switched to cryptocurrency as the value of the Turkish lira depreciates. With some of the highest levels of use anywhere in the world, the arrival of regulations has been rapid this year with inflation hitting a peak in April.

On April 16, 2021, the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey issued a regulation prohibiting the use of cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, directly or indirectly, to pay for goods and services. The next day, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan went even further and decreed that cryptocurrency exchanges be included in the list of companies subject to anti-money laundering and terrorist financing rules.

Vietnam

The State Bank of Vietnam has declared that the issuance, supply and use of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is illegal as a means of payment and is subject to fines ranging from 150 million VND (5,600 euros) to 200 million VND (7,445 euros). ).

However, the government does not prohibit the trading or holding of bitcoin as an asset.

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