Bitcoin has been controversial since its inception in 2009, as have subsequent cryptocurrencies.
While widely criticized for its instability, its use in various transactions, and its excessive use of electricity to undermine it, Bitcoin is being seen by some, especially in the developing world, as a “safe haven” during economic storms. .
But as more people turn to cryptocurrencies either as an investment or as a “lifeline”, these issues have emerged and have impacted a number of restrictions on their use, the Telegraph reports.
The legal status of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies varies substantially from country to country, while in some, the relationship remains to be properly defined or is constantly changing.
While most countries do not make the use of Bitcoin themselves illegal, its status as a means of payment or as a commodity varies with various regulatory implications.
Some countries have imposed restrictions on how Bitcoin can be used, with banks banning its customers from conducting cryptocurrency transactions.
Other countries have banned the use of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies with heavy penalties for anyone who transacts cryptocurrencies.
These are the countries that have a particularly rich relationship with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies:
Algeria currently bans the use of cryptocurrency following the passage of a financial law in 2018 that made it illegal to buy, sell, use or hold virtual currencies.
There has been a complete ban on the use of Bitcoin in Bolivia since 2014. The Bolivian Central Bank issued a resolution banning it and any other currency that was not regulated by a country or economic zone.
China has hit cryptocurrencies with increasing intensity during 2021. Chinese officials have repeatedly issued warnings to its people to stay away from the digital asset market and severely hit mines in the country as well as currency exchanges in China and abroad.
On August 27, Yin Youping, deputy director of the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) Financial Consumer Protection Bureau, referred to cryptocurrencies as speculative assets and warned people to “protect their pockets.”
Attempts to mine Bitcoin – a decentralized currency out of the control of governments and institutions – are seen primarily as an attempt by Chinese authorities to release their electronic currency.
PBoC seems to be one of the first major central banks in the world to launch its own digital currency, and in doing so would be able to more closely monitor the transactions of its people, the Telegraph reports.
In Colombia, financial institutions are not allowed to facilitate transactions with Bitcoin.
Superintendencia Financiera warned financial institutions in 2014 that they could not “protect, invest, broker or manage virtual money operations”.
Egypt’s Dar al-Ifta, the country’s main Islamic advisory body, issued a religious decree in 2018, classifying Bitcoin transactions as “haram”, something forbidden under Islamic law.
Although not binding, Egypt’s banking laws were tightened in September 2020 to prevent the Central Bank from trading or promoting cryptocurrencies without a license.
Bank Indonesia, the country’s central bank, issued new regulations banning the use of cryptocurrency, including Bitcoin, as a means of payment from January 1, 2018.
Bitcoin has a complex relationship with the Iranian regime. To avoid the worst impact of economic sanctions, Iran has turned to the lucrative practice of Bitcoin mining to finance imports.
While the Central Bank bans the trading of cryptocurrencies mined overseas, it has encouraged Bitcoin mining in the country with incentives.
About 4.5 percent of the world’s Bitcoin mines take place in Iran, which, according to analytics firm blockchain Elliptic, could generate revenues of over $ 1 billion (843 million euros), the Telegraph reports.
Nepale Rastra Bank has declared Bitcoin illegal since August 2017.
Northern Macedonia is the only European country so far that has an official ban on cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and others, in the country.
While cryptocurrency is not illegal in Russia, there is an ongoing conflict against its use.
Russia passed its first laws regulating cryptocurrencies in July 2020, which for the first time defined cryptocurrency as taxable property.
The law, which went into effect in January this year, also prohibits Russian civil servants from possessing any crypto assets.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has consistently linked cryptocurrency to criminal activity, calling for greater attention in particular to cross-border cryptocurrency transactions.
In July, the attorney general announced new proposed legislation that would allow police to confiscate cryptocurrencies deemed to have been obtained illegally citing its use in bribery.
Many in Turkey turned to cryptocurrency after the Turkish lira fell in value. With some of the highest usage levels anywhere in the world, the arrival of regulations was quick this year as inflation peaked in April.
On April 16, 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 next day, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan went further and issued a decree exchanging crypto on a list of firms subject to anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing rules.
The State Bank of Vietnam has declared that the issuance, supply and use of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are illegal as a means of payment and are subject to fines ranging from VND 150 million (€ 5,600) to VN 200 million (€ 7,445).
However, the government does not prohibit trading in Bitcoin or holding them as assets.
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