Jun 25, · Chinese regulatory authorities had imposed a ban on initial coin offerings (ICO), a cryptocurrency-based fundraising process, and termed it illegal in China in September That ban . Sep 30, · JPMorgan Admits Fraud, Agrees to Billion Dollar Settlement for Illegal Trading. JPMorgan Chase has admitted to fraud charges and agreed to . Countries where Bitcoin is neither legal nor illegal Some countries still haven’t made their minds what to do with Bitcoin. 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.
Bitcoin trading illegalIs Bitcoin Legal?
Whether bans were imposed due to Bitcoins decentralized nature, the threat to their current financial system or just because proper regulations are yet to be approved, there are at least nine countries as of March which decided to do so. These are:. In addition to the countries where BTC is banned, there are also countries where Bitcoin is somewhat restricted and cannot be traded or used for payment.
In such states, banks and other financial service providers are prohibited from dealing with cryptocurrency exchanges and companies, and in more extreme cases the countries have even banned crypto exchanges etc China. Note that despite the bans and restrictions, these laws have not eradicated Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency trades and their usage. Due to the nature of decentralized cryptocurrencies, it is simply impossible to ban them.
Many individuals in those countries still make use of sites like Local Bitcoins , Paxful or Bisq to trade it with others, as indicated by the trading volumes on these platforms. This just serves to prove that no government holds the power of truly ban Bitcoin unless they prohibit the usage of the internet for the entire nation. On a positive note, research shows there are at least states where Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are recognized by law and are legal. For instance, major countries like the United States and Canada hold a generally crypto-friendly attitude towards cryptocurrencies while also trying to enforce anti-money laundering laws and prevent fraud.
Meanwhile, in the European Union, the member states are not allowed to launch their own cryptocurrency, but crypto exchanges are encouraged to be legalized and comply with the regulations. 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.
Fears of widespread cryptocurrency crackdowns have had a long-standing effect on Bitcoin. Because of that, many people are wary of the trustless system and rely on traditional systems instead.
Regardless, a growing number of governments choose to embrace digital innovation and play a role in the industry. At the same time jurisdictions which oppose the emerging industry are at risk of being left behind.
Ironically, these countries already are some of the poorest nations in the world, and widespread Bitcoin and cryptocurrency crackdowns seem to yield no favorable results to improve the situation. Quite the contrary; embracing the cryptocurrency businesses with favorable regulations present an excellent opportunity to bring in innovation, capital, tax revenue and improve the living standard for the whole population.
You may also like to read: How to buy Bitcoin? If you live in the United States, you are lucky to enjoy one of the best-developed Bitcoin ecosystems in the world. Bitcoin Lightning Network is a second-layer solution that uses payment channels in order to settle transactions quickly without having to wait for block confirmations. Until the BTC market cap starts to grow into the trillions, it is highly unlikely that it will be stable enough to A new way of trading and investing in crypto technology, Bitcoin ETFs made headlines in We have had meetings with the Supreme Court so that people who have been victims of seizures and arrests in previous years will have charges dismissed.
Bitcoin is considered a commodity,  not a security or currency under the laws of the Kyrgyz Republic and may be legally mined, bought, sold and traded on a local commodity exchange. On 2 September , a decree legalizing crypto trading — also making it tax-free — and mining in the country came into force, making Uzbekistan a crypto-friendly state. The use of bitcoins is not regulated in Cyprus. From the point of view of the current Russian legislation, cryptocurrency is a monetary substitute.
The Central Bank of Russia and Rosfinmonitoring in their informational appeals have repeatedly warned Russian citizens that all operations with cryptocurrency are speculative and carry a high risk of loss of value. The Central Bank of Russia states that: "Most operations with cryptocurrencies are performed outside the legal regulation of both the Russian Federation and most other states. Cryptocurrencies are not guaranteed or provided by the Bank of Russia.
A bill on digital financial assets was introduced in the State Duma on 20 March It defines cryptocurrency mining as "activities aimed at the creation of cryptocurrency with the purpose of receiving compensation in the form of cryptocurrency.
In the bill, bitcoins are classified as property and are not considered legal tender. The exchange of cryptocurrency for rubles and foreign currency is allowed but only through licensed operators. The bill also provides a definition of a smart contract.
According to the Library of Congress "Under article D. No initial coin offerings are permitted and no establishment of an exchange is permitted under this license. As of , the Israel Tax Authorities issued a statement saying that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies would not fall under the legal definition of currency, and neither of that of a financial security, but of a taxable asset.
Financial institutions are warned from using bitcoin. The government of Jordan has issued a warning discouraging the use of bitcoin and other similar systems. The Central Bank of Jordan prohibits banks, currency exchanges, financial companies, and payment service companies from dealing in bitcoins or other digital currencies. The government of Lebanon has issued a warning discouraging the use of bitcoin and other similar systems.
Bitcoin is not regulated as it is not considered to be electronic money according to the law. Financial institutions are not allowed by central bank to facilitate bitcoin transactions. Finance minister Arun Jaitley, in his budget speech on 1 February , stated that the government will do everything to discontinue the use of bitcoin and other virtual currencies in India for criminal uses. He reiterated that India does not recognise them as legal tender and will instead encourage blockchain technology in payment systems.
In , a petition has been filed by Internet and Mobile Association of India with the Supreme Court of India challenging the legality of cryptocurrencies and seeking a direction or order restraining their transaction. Bank will not get involved if there is any dispute. They will not facilitate any transaction for it.
The bank has issued an official notice on its website and has also posted the news on its official Twitter account. On 1 April PBOC ordered commercial banks and payment companies to close bitcoin trading accounts in two weeks.
Cryptocurrency exchanges or trading platforms were effectively banned by regulation in September with platforms closed down by July On 8 January , the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury addressed bitcoin in the Legislative Council stating that "Hong Kong at present has no legislation directly regulating bitcoins and other virtual currencies of [a] similar kind.
However, our existing laws such as the Organised and Serious Crimes Ordinance provide sanctions against unlawful acts involving bitcoins, such as fraud or money laundering.
He also decided that bitcoin will not be regulated by HKMA. However, the authority will be closely watching the usage of bitcoin locally and its development overseas. On 7 March , the Japanese government, in response to a series of questions asked in the National Diet , made a cabinet decision on the legal treatment of bitcoins in the form of answers to the questions.
The decision also acknowledges that there are no laws to unconditionally prohibit individuals or legal entities from receiving bitcoins in exchange for goods or services. Taxes may be applicable to bitcoins. As of April , cryptocurrency exchange businesses operating in Japan have been regulated by the Payment Services Act. Cryptocurrency exchange businesses have to be registered, keep records, take security measures, and take measures to protect customers.
The law on cryptocurrency transactions must comply with the anti-money laundering law; and measures to protect users investors.
The Act also states that cryptocurrency is limited to property values that are stored electronically on electronic devices, not a legal tender. Minors and all foreigners are prohibited from trading cryptocurrencies. Adult South Koreans may trade on registered exchanges using real name accounts at a bank where the exchange also has an account.
Both the bank and the exchange are responsible for verifying the customer's identity and enforcing other anti-money-laundering provisions. Financial institutions have been warned by regulators that necessary regulatory actions may be taken if they use bitcoin.
It is stated that bitcoin remains highly volatile, highly speculative, and is not entitled to legal claims or guarantee of conversion. On 7 December , Bank Indonesia , the country's central bank, issued a regulation banning the use of cryptocurrencies including bitcoin as payment tools starting 1 January On 4 November , Bank Negara Malaysia BNM met with local bitcoin proponents to learn more about the currency but did not comment at the time.
The central bank will not regulate bitcoin operations at the moment and users should aware of the risks associated with bitcoin usage. Recently virtual currencies were legalized and cryptocurrency exchanges are now regulated by Central Bank of the Philippines Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas under Circular ; however bitcoin and other "virtual currencies" are not recognized by the BSP as currency as "it is neither issued or guaranteed by a central bank nor backed by any commodity.
In December , the Monetary Authority of Singapore reportedly stated that "[w]hether or not businesses accept bitcoins in exchange for their goods and services is a commercial decision in which MAS does not intervene. On 22 September , the Monetary Authority of Singapore MAS warned users of the risks associated with using bitcoin stating "If bitcoin ceases to operate, there may not be an identifiable party responsible for refunding their monies or for them to seek recourse"  and in December stated "Whether or not businesses accept Bitcoins in exchange for their goods and services is a commercial decision in which MAS does not intervene"  In January , the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore issued a series of tax guidelines according to which bitcoin transactions may be treated as a barter exchange if it is used as a payment method for real goods and services.
Businesses that deal with bitcoin currency exchanges will be taxed based on their bitcoin sales. Thai based bitcoin exchanges can only exchange Digital Currencies for Thai Baht and are required to operate with a Thailand Business Development Department e-commerce license.
The State Bank of Vietnam has declared that the issuance, supply and use of bitcoin and other similar virtual currency is illegal as a mean of payment and subject to punishment ranging from million to million VND,  but the government doesn't ban bitcoin trading as a virtual goods or assets. AMBD however, advised the public not to be easily enticed by any investment or financial activity advertisements, and to conduct due diligence and understand the financial products properly before participating.
There is no law that stated that holding or trading bitcoin is illegal. The Financial Market Authority FMA has warned investors that cryptocurrencies are risky and that the FMA does not supervise or regulate virtual currencies, including bitcoin, or cryptocurrency trading platforms. Croatia's Financial Stability Council warned investors about the risks of virtual currencies, such as digital wallet theft and fraud, on December 18, The National Bank of Croatia issued a similar warning on September 22, Businesses and individuals who buy, sell, store, manage, or mediate the purchase or sale of virtual currencies or provide similar services must comply with the anti-money laundering law.
Bitcoin is classified as intangible asset not as electronic money for the purpose of accounting and taxes. On 19 August , the German Finance Ministry announced that bitcoin is now essentially a "unit of account" and can be used for the purpose of tax and trading in the country, meaning that purchases made with it must pay VAT as with euro transactions.
It is not classified as a foreign currency or e—money but stands as "private money" which can be used in "multilateral clearing circles", according to the ministry. It recommends using the term "crypto token. In November , a legislation passed by German parliament allows the banks to sell and store cryptocurrencies starting from 1 January The use of bitcoin in Poland is not regulated by a legal act at present.
They added that trading virtual currencies in Poland does not violate national or EU law, however, having virtual "currencies", involves many risks: 1 risk related to the possibility of loss of funds due to theft, 2 risk related to lack of guarantee, 3 risk of lack of universal acceptability, 4 risk related to the possibility of fraud, 5 risk of high price change.
Financial institutions should be cautious about engaging and cooperating with virtual currency "trading" entities. As of March , an official statement of the Romanian National Bank mentioned that "using digital currencies as payment has certain risks for the financial system". In October , the National Fiscal Administration Agency ANAF declared that there is a lack of a legislative framework around bitcoin, and therefore, it is unable to create a tax regulation framework for it as well implying no taxation.
In January , Law nr. In addition, there is a new subpoint, Article The National Bank of Slovakia NBS , stated  that bitcoin does not have the legal attributes of a currency, and therefore it cannot be considered a currency. At the same time NBS points out that any legal person or natural person in the Slovak Republic shall not issue any notes or any other coins.
Unlawful manufacturing of banknotes and coins and putting them into circulation is punishable by law. In this context, NBS points out that virtual currencies have not a physical counterpart in the form of legal tender and participation in such a scheme virtual currency is at your own risk.
Exchanges or purchases of virtual currencies represent the business risk of investors and investors' money are not protected. For any compensation of losses caused by such exchanges or purchases there is no legal entitlement. On 23 December the Slovenian Ministry of Finance made an announcement  stating that bitcoin is neither a currency nor an asset.
Bitcoin businesses in Switzerland are subject to anti-money laundering regulations and in some instances may need to obtain a banking license.
On 5 December , a proposal was put forth by 45 members of the Swiss Parliament for digital sustainability Pardigli , that calls on the Swiss government to evaluate the opportunities for utilization of bitcoin by the country's financial sector. In response to the parliament postulates, the Swiss Federal Council issued a report on virtual currencies in June In , Zug added bitcoin as a means of paying city fees, in a test and an attempt to advance Zug as a region that is advancing future technologies.
On 21 May , Albania passed a new law to regulate cryptocurrency activities. 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 provisions of the decree "On the Development of Digital Economy" create of a legal basis for the circulation of digital currencies and tokens based on blockchain technology, so that resident companies of the High-Tech Park can provide the services of stock markets and exchange offices with cryptocurrencies and attract financing through the ICO.
For legal entities, the Decree confers the rights to create and place their own tokens, carry out transactions through stock markets and exchange operators; to individuals the Decree gives the right to engage in mining , to own tokens, to acquire and change them for Belarusian rubles , foreign currency and electronic money, and to bequeath them.
Up to 1 Jan In , the Decree excludes revenue and profits from operations with tokens from the taxable base. In relation to individuals, the acquisition and sale of tokens is not considered entrepreneurial activity, and the tokens themselves and income from transactions with them are not subject to declaration. The peculiarity of the introduced regulation is that all operations will have to be carried out through the resident companies of the High-Tech Park.
Denmark's Financial Supervisory Authority issued a statement declaring that bitcoin is not a currency and stating that it will not regulate its use. As of [update] , FSA says that doing business with bitcoin does not fall under its regulatory authority and therefore FSA does not prevent anyone from opening such businesses.
In Estonia, the use of bitcoins is not regulated or otherwise controlled by the government. The Estonian Ministry of Finance have concluded that there is no legal obstacles to use bitcoin-like crypto currencies as payment method. Traders must therefore identify the buyer when establishing business relationship or if the buyer acquires more than 1, euros of the currency in a month. The Finnish Tax Administration has issued instructions for the taxation of virtual currencies, including the bitcoin.
Purchases of goods with bitcoin or conversion of bitcoin into legal currency "realizes" the value and any increase in price will be taxable; however, losses are not tax-deductible. Mined bitcoin is considered earned income. This is because the court classified bitcoins as payment instruments - whereas most countries treat their use as an unregulated method for the exchange of goods, or even as a crime.
According to a opinion, from the Central Bank of Iceland "there is no authorization to purchase foreign currency from financial institutions in Iceland or to transfer foreign currency across borders on the basis of transactions with virtual currency. For this reason alone, transactions with virtual currency are subject to restrictions in Iceland. On 12 March , the Central Bank amended its rules.
With the new rules, wide and general exemptions have been granted from the restrictions of the Foreign Exchange Act No. Bank of Lithuania released a warning on 31 January , that bitcoin is not recognized as legal tender in Lithuania and that bitcoin users should be aware of high risks that come with the usage of it.
The Norwegian Tax Administration stated in December that they don't define bitcoin as money but regard it as an asset. Profits are subjected to wealth tax. In business, use of bitcoin falls under the sales tax regulation.
The Norwegian government stated in February that they would not levy VAT on the purchase or sale of bitcoin. The decision has been appealed by the Swedish Tax Authority. 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.
There is not a single word in Bulgarian laws about bitcoin. No specific legislation on bitcoins exists in Greece. Italy does not regulate bitcoin use by private individuals. As of [update] , Malta does not have any regulations specifically pertaining to bitcoins. Muscat specifically addressed the bitcoin blockchain's ability to handle, store and process sensitive data in an immutable and decentralized ecosystem.
In the same press release the NBRM quoted the law on Foreign Exchange Operations, but since cryptocurrencies do not constitute a foreign currency as they are quoted by the law, it leaves them unregulated. Bitcoin has no specific legal framework in Portugal. Transactions in bitcoins are subject to the same laws as barter transactions.
The Minister of Finance indicated that government intervention with regard to the bitcoin system does not appear necessary at the present time. The French Ministry of Finance issued regulations on 11 July pertaining to the operation of virtual currency professionals, exchanges, and taxation.
The Central Bank of Ireland was quoted in the Assembly of Ireland as stating that it does not regulate bitcoins. The Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier has issued a communication in February acknowledging the status of currency to the bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. As of [update] , virtual currencies such as bitcoin do not fall within the scope of the Act on Financial Supervision of the Netherlands.
Bitcoin is treated as 'private money'. When bitcoin is exchanged for sterling or for foreign currencies, such as euro or dollar, no VAT will be due on the value of the bitcoins themselves.
However, in all instances, VAT will be due in the normal way from suppliers of any goods or services sold in exchange for bitcoin or other similar cryptocurrency. Profits and losses on cryptocurrencies are subject to capital gains tax. They have proposed a code of conduct that includes the provision of Anti-Money Laundering and extra security measures.
In December , the governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia RBA indicated in an interview about bitcoin legality stating, "There would be nothing to stop people in this country deciding to transact in some other currency in a shop if they wanted to.
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