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Some of them even single out Bitcoin, allowing it to be used as money, pay taxes, purchase goods, or trade it like a commodity. In other countries, even the mere possession of Bitcoin can get you to prison. Others have not even bothered to regulate it yet, leaving Bitcoin and other cryptos in legal limbo. Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are generally welcomed in most parts of the world.
Nevertheless, some countries have actually banned them or their use. 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. Bank Negara Malaysia. Retrieved 2 March The Edge Malaysia. Archived from the original on 11 January Retrieved 11 January Retrieved 7 May Archived from the original on 24 December Retrieved 27 December Business Insider Australia.
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Swiss Confederation. Retrieved 28 November DW Finance. Archived from the original on 20 September Retrieved 20 September Archived from the original on 15 January Retrieved 5 January Retrieved 3 December Financial Supervisory Authority. Archived from the original on 17 December Retrieved 24 December Majandus in Estonian. Retrieved 15 March International Tax Review.
Retrieved 15 November The Central Bank of Iceland. Retrieved 8 January Deal Book New York Times. New York Times Company. Retrieved 9 December Retrieved 19 December The Ministry of Finance. Retrieved 5 June Retrieved 31 January Retrieved 2 April Retrieved 25 April National Bank of Republic of North Macedonia.
Ministre des Finances. Retrieved 6 June Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier. Retrieved 6 November The Australian Financial Review. History Economics Legal status. Money portal. List of bitcoin companies List of bitcoin forks List of bitcoin organizations List of people in blockchain technology. Bitcoin Unlimited. Bitcoin Cash Bitcoin Gold. BTC-e Mt. Gox QuadrigaCX. Bitcoin scalability problem History of bitcoin cryptocurrency crash Bitcoin bomb threats Twitter bitcoin scam.
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Download as PDF Printable version. European Union. Illegal On 20 November the exchange office issued a public statement in which it declared, "The Office des Changes wishes to inform the general public that the transactions via virtual currencies constitute an infringement of the exchange regulations, liable to penalties and fines provided for by [existing laws] in force.
Legal As of 17 January , The Central Bank of Nigeria CBN has passed a circular to inform all Nigerian banks that bank transactions in bitcoin and other virtual currencies have been banned in Nigeria. Legal The Financial Services Commission of Mauritius considers cryptocurrencies to be regulated as a Digital Asset under the Financial Services Act , and while it cautions investors they are not protected by any statutory compensation agreements, they are legal.
Legal While government officials have advised against the use of Bitcoin, there is no legislation against it and it remains fully legal. South Africa. Legal In September the Bank of Namibia issued a position paper on virtual currencies entitled  wherein it declared cryptocurrency exchanges are not allowed and cryptocurrency cannot be accepted as payment for goods and services.
Legal The Reserve Bank Of Zimbabwe is sceptical about bitcoin and has not officially permitted its use. United States. Legal The U. Legal Bitcoin is legal in Mexico as of Legal News reports indicate that bitcoins are being used in the country. Costa Rica. Legal The Costa Rican Central Bank announced that bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are not considered currencies, and are not backed by the government nor laws.
Legal The Bank of Jamaica BoJ , the national Central Bank, has publicly declared that it must create opportunities for the exploitation of technologies including cryptocurrencies. Trinidad and Tobago. Legal Legal.
Legal Bitcoins may be considered money, but not legal currency. Illegal Absolute ban. Legal Not regulated, according to a statement by the Central Bank of Brazil concerning cryptocurrencies, but is discouraged because of operational risks. Legal There is no regulation on the use of bitcoins.
Illegal The Ecuadorian government has issued a ban on bitcoin and other digital currencies. Legal 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. Legal 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.
Legal The use of bitcoins is not regulated in Cyprus. United Arab Emirates. Contradictory information Absolute ban. Legal 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.
Saudi Arabia. Legal The government of Lebanon has issued a warning discouraging the use of bitcoin and other similar systems. Legal Bitcoin is not regulated as it is not considered to be electronic money according to the law. Legal 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.
China PRC. Hong Kong. Legal 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. Legal 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.
South Korea. Legal Minors and all foreigners are prohibited from trading cryptocurrencies. Legal 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.
Legal 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. It is not protected under the laws administered by AMBD. Legal Not considered to be an official form of currency, earnings are subject to tax law. Legal Croatia's Financial Stability Council warned investors about the risks of virtual currencies, such as digital wallet theft and fraud, on December 18, Czech Republic.
Legal 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. Legal 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.
Legal The Hungarian Central Bank, Magyar Nemzeti Bank MNB has issued several warnings over cryptocurrencies, stating that it's "much riskier" than other electronic payments such as credit cards. Legal The use of bitcoin in Poland is not regulated by a legal act at present. Legal 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". Legal 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.
Legal On 23 December the Slovenian Ministry of Finance made an announcement  stating that bitcoin is neither a currency nor an asset. Legal Bitcoin businesses in Switzerland are subject to anti-money laundering regulations and in some instances may need to obtain a banking license. Legal On 21 May , Albania passed a new law to regulate cryptocurrency activities. Legal 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.
In addition, the decree includes: Extension of the validity period of the special legal regime of the High-Tech Park until 1 January , and expansion of the list of activities of resident companies. Under the new rules, developers of blockchain -based solutions, developers of machine learning systems based on artificial neural networks , companies from the medical and biotechnological industries, developers of unmanned vehicles, as well as software developers and publishers can become residents.
The list of promising areas is unlimited and can be expanded by the decision of the High-Tech Park supervisory board. Exemption of foreign companies providing marketing, advertising, consulting and other services to the residents of the High-Tech Park from paying value-added tax , as well as paying income tax, which allows to promote IT products of Belarusian companies in foreign markets.
To encourage investments, the Decree also exempts foreign companies from the tax on income from the alienation of shares, stakes in the authorized capital and shares in the property of residents of the High-Tech Park under condition of continuous possession of at least days. Introduction of individual English law institutions for residents of the High-Tech Park, which will make it possible to conclude option contracts , convertible loan agreements, non-competition agreements with employees, agreements with responsibility for enticing employees, irrevocable powers of attorney and other documents common in international practice.
This measure is aimed at simplifying the structuring of transactions with foreign capital. Simplification of the regime of currency transactions for residents of the High-Tech Park, including the introduction of a notification procedure for currency transactions, the cancellation of the mandatory written form of foreign trade transactions, the introduction of confirmation of the conducted operations by primary documents drawn up unilaterally.
Also, the decree removes restrictions on resident companies for transactions with electronic money and allows opening accounts in foreign banks and credit and financial organizations without obtaining permission from the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus.
Simplification of the procedure for recruiting qualified foreign specialists by resident companies of the High-Tech Park, including the abolition of the recruitment permit, the simplified procedure for obtaining a work permit, and the visa-free regime for the founders and employees of resident companies with a term of continuous stay of up to days. Legal Denmark's Financial Supervisory Authority issued a statement declaring that bitcoin is not a currency and stating that it will not regulate its use.
Legal In Estonia, the use of bitcoins is not regulated or otherwise controlled by the government. Legal The Finnish Tax Administration has issued instructions for the taxation of virtual currencies, including the bitcoin. Legal 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.
Legal 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. Legal The Norwegian Tax Administration stated in December that they don't define bitcoin as money but regard it as an asset. On Thursday, the nation moved to regulate use of bitcoins, stating that its financial institutions could not deal in the virtual currency.
To regulate bitcoin usage, China will implement anti-money laundering measures with sites that exchange the virtual currency. This includes obliging users to register with their real identities. China's main objection to Bitcoin is that the cryptocurrency is not controlled and issued by a central monetary authority; the government posting also expressed concern that the number of bitcoins is limited, though it did not say why that's a problem. Another issue for the Chinese is that transactions with the currency can be done anonymously.
China said the public would be free to use bitcoins as long as individuals take on the risk. But authorities are particularly concerned with the virtual currency's volatile price and how some bitcoin sites are not legally registered.