Bitcoin Regulation Worldwide as of 2019
Bitcoin is legal in most developed regions worldwide. However, there are exceptions. Bitcoin regulation in places like Bangladesh can see users of cryptocurrency face up to 12-years in prison
Is Bitcoin Legal? – Worldwide Bitcoin Regulation Explained
Whether you live in a country with lax cryptocurrency regulation or not, it is imperative to understand how Bitcoin and different altcoins are regulated worldwide.
In 2017, 60 Bitcoin users were arrested in Bolivia. As one of just a few countries which outright ban cryptocurrency, each were arrested due to (alleged) plans to buy, sell, or mine Bitcoin. None had engaged in such activity. However, because Bitcoin is considered a pyramid scheme by Bolivian authorities, this fact was of little consequence.
Bitcoin Regulation Worldwide
Understanding Bitcoin regulation worldwide is key to ensuring the safety of cryptocurrency assets and individuals. British national Elliot Smith learned this the hard way in 2018 after his Coinbase account was closed after a vacation in Cuba. For this reason. We have created a comprehensive guide to global cryptocurrency regulation as of 2019.
Is Bitcoin legal? In most places, yes. However, there are several countries which cryptocurrency users may want to avoid.
Coin dance statistics indicate that Bitcoin is legal in 111 countries currently.
Bolivia explicitly bans all forms of cryptocurrency. Publically advocating Bitcoin or other altcoins can also be appreciated as attempting to defraud locals.
Ecuador prohibits any use of any digital currency within the countries borders.
Bangladesh does not consider cryptocurrency legal tender and users can face up to 12-years in prison under the countries strict anti-money laundering laws.
China explicitly bans use of cryptocurrency within its borders, making Chinese exchanges and cryptocurrency apps notoriously high-risk.
Nigeria has placed bans on the use of digital currency as legal tender. However, cryptocurrency startups are allowed to operate within Nigeria’s borders.
Vietnam has banned all forms of cryptocurrency use among businesses. Individuals may hold Bitcoin or other coins. However, it would be unwise to attempt to spend or exchange coins within Vietnam’s borders.
Countries and Territories with Friendly Bitcoin Regulation
For the most part, countries NOT on the above list are either friendly or indifferent toward Bitcoin. When visiting such destinations, cryptocurrency users will not experience harassment or fall foul of breaking local laws. However, this does change when it comes to seeking permanent residency.
Different countries and provincial states treat cryptocurrency differently for tax purposes. When settling, it is, therefore, advisable to independently research what regulations might apply on a location by location basis.
Countries Where Bitcoin Regulation Isn’t Clear
When Coinbase suspended the account of Elliot Smith in 2018, it did so due to Smith accessing his account from Cuba. Cuba does not prohibit cryptocurrency. However, the U.S. Treasury Department does prevent U.S. companies from offering services to Cuban residents. When traveling, Bitcoin and altcoin users would, therefore, be wise to move coins into offline wallets, to secure assets in similar situations.
It is also worth noting that Venezuela, Colombia, India, and Indonesia have been reluctant to approve non-state backed cryptocurrencies. In these areas, investors would be wise to keep abreast of new regulatory news and commentary.
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