Bitcoin Is Banned or Legal In 2024: A Complete Research. Make sure purchasing, selling, or spending Bitcoin in your country is legal. Cryptocurrency legislation varies greatly among countries. You can use Bitcoin like money, pay taxes, buy something with it, or even exchange it like a commodity in some places. Having Bitcoin is enough to get you in jail in several nations. Cryptos like Bitcoin are now in a legal grey area since no one has bothered to regulate them.
Bitcoin may have been around for a while, but it is still relatively young compared to other forms of currency. Bitcoin might not be able to completely replace the world’s money supply for at least ten more years. The once-fanciful notion of Bitcoin as the world’s money is getting closer to being a reality with its increasing usage and becoming legal tender. The article focuses on the current state of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
- Neither Legal nor Illegal
Countries Where Bitcoin is Banned
Worldwide, people are warming up to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. However, they are illegal in some countries, and their use is even more restricted. At least nine nations have banned Bitcoin, mostly because of its decentralized structure, which poses a danger to their existing financial system, or simply because appropriate legislation has not been adopted. Here they are:
- Algeria. Algeria has banned cryptocurrencies because they are not backed by anything physical.
- Bolivia. The Central Bank has prohibited using cryptocurrencies because of their unregulated nature.
- Bangladesh. Citing possibilities for money laundering and being unauthorized by the Bangladesh bank, Bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies are illegal.
- Dominican Republic. Citing that they are not legal tender, cryptocurrencies are illegal in the Dominican Republic.
- Ghana. Although cryptocurrencies are regarded as illegal in Ghana, the Bank of Ghana sees blockchain’s potential and is assessing how to fit it into its financial structure.
- Nepal. Nepal’s central bank has banned Bitcoin because it is not a legal currency.
- The Republic of Macedonia. Citizens are warned that they cannot have crypto securities abroad. Crypto is still illegal.
- Quatar. Citing price volatility, the possibility of financial crimes and lack of central government support, cryptocurrency activity is banned.
- Vanuatu. Several news outlets broke the story that Vanuatu accepted Bitcoin in exchange for citizenship. The country’s Citizenship Office, however, denied this. The country claims to accept only USD in exchange for citizenship.
Countries Where Use of Bitcoin is Legally Restricted
Aside from outright bans, several nations have more stringent regulations that make it difficult, if not impossible, to trade or use Bitcoin as a payment. Financial institutions in these jurisdictions are forbidden from doing business with cryptocurrency exchanges and organizations; in the most severe instances, the countries have outright outlawed cryptocurrency exchanges (e.g., China).
- Bahrain. You need a license to use crypto-asset services in Bahrain.
- China. China’s digital Yuan has issued on-chain wages, a first for the country. Although having researched cryptocurrencies for many years, China is treading cautiously in the market, listing a whole gamut of rules regarding restricting Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). China had the resources to operate 70% of Bitcoin mining facilities, but officials have regulated that for environmental reasons.
- Hong Kong. A law that restricts crypto trading to individuals with over $1 million in their investment portfolio may be enacted. Other than this, Hong Kong emphasizes certain regulations when it comes to ICOs. Exchanges also need regulations to be enacted.
- Iran. Financial institutions are not permitted to handle cryptocurrencies.
- Kazakhstan. There are heavy cryptocurrency restrictions by the National Bank, with exchanges and mining banned. A complete ban on cryptocurrency has been contemplated.
- Russia. Crypto is legal in Russia but is restricted. The Central Bank must register banks and exchanges, and crypto cannot be used as a payment method.
- Saudi Arabia. Once banned, Bitcoin is now legal in the country. Banks, however, are banned from participating.
- Turkey. Cryptocurrencies are not allowed as financial assets in banks. They also cannot be classified as payment tools.
- Vietnam. Although Bitcoin is still prohibited in trade relations by the State Bank, the average user tolerates possession and trade in crypto. Research in the country is being done to understand cryptocurrency and its implications further.
Remember that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency trades and usage have persisted despite these laws’ bans and restrictions. It is physically impossible to outlaw decentralized cryptocurrencies because of their very nature. Many people in those nations still use local Bitcoins, Paxful, and Bisq for Bitcoin trading.
Countries Where Bitcoin is Legal
Fortunately, studies have shown that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are officially recognized and legal in 111 states. Despite their efforts to combat fraud and anti-money-laundering regulations, large nations like Canada and the US maintain a generally crypto-friendly stance toward cryptocurrencies. Meanwhile, EU member states can’t issue cryptocurrency, but crypto exchanges are strongly pushed to become legitimized and follow the rules. Here are the top nations where Bitcoin is legal as of 2024:
- Antigua and Barbuda: A bill was passed to protect exchanges and crypto users. Bitcoin could become legal tender soon in the country as you can use Bitcoin to pay for citizenship.
- Australia: Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been legal in the country since 2017 and are subject to Capital Gains Tax
- Barbados: Cryptocurrencies operate legally in Barbados. Barbados’s digital currency, DCash, has been active since 2022.
- Belgium: Cryptocurrencies are subject to a miscellaneous income tax. Crypto is not considered legal tender, even though it is recognized as a possible alternative to money.
- Bulgaria: Licenses are not required to engage in crypto businesses, and they are treated as income from the sale of financial assets
- Cayman Islands: New laws regulating cryptocurrencies have been passed. They have favorable tax laws for businesses, including cryptocurrency businesses.
- Chile: Cryptocurrencies are under the country’s money policies. There are protections for cryptocurrency exchanges in Chile.
- Croatia: There is a tax-free threshold of 3800 HRK and a capital gains tax of 12%-18%. The government warns of the high-risk nature of crypto.
- Dominica: Planning to test out a cryptocurrency, DCash; the crypto outlook is positive in the country. There was a project to hand out Bitcoin to the population, but it had been canceled.
- Estonia: Crypto is considered virtual currency and has digital value as a payment method, although it is not considered legal tender.
- Finland: Crypto is legal and regarded as a virtual currency. The Financial Supervisory Authority is the authority on virtual currencies.
- Germany: Crypto assets can be bought, sold, and held as long as they are from a licensed institution.
- Indonesia: Cryptocurrencies have been legal in Indonesia since 2019. It is regarded as a commodity when trading and not a payment method.
- Italy: Regarded as a virtual currency, cryptocurrencies are subject to corporate and personal income tax.
- Ireland: Crypto is regarded as virtual currency and is taxed differently based on several scenarios.
- Japan: Crypto assets are under the ‘miscellaneous income’ category.
- Lithuania: Lithuania became one of the first countries to have a framework regarding cryptocurrencies and taxation, with earnings up to 2,500 euros considered tax-free.
- Malta: Malta is known for being the home to some of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges like Binance and OKEx because of their open stance regarding crypto.
- Mauritius: Their regulations are under the category of Digital Assets.
- Marshall Islands: The SOV, or sovereign, is the legal currency of the Marshall Islands, and it is powered by blockchain.
- New Zealand: Cryptocurrencies are compared to gold and are subject to taxes.
- Norway: Cryptocurrencies are considered assets and taxed.
- The Philippines: Cryptocurrencies are in the security and investment contract categories and are subject to regulations by the SEC. Any financial services related to cryptocurrencies, like exchanges, are subject to the guidelines of the Philippines Central Bank.
- Serbia: Crypto is regarded as a digital asset for taxes. Crypto services need a license.
- South Korea: Crypto is legal and subject to anti-money laundering laws while closely regulated by the government. Financial institutions are required to report cryptocurrency transactions.
- Sweden: Trade in Bitcoin is regarded as a financial service. Gains are taxed as business income.
- Switzerland: As early as 2017, crypto was accepted as payment by the Commercial Register Office. Institutions need licenses to operate cryptocurrencies. Extensive regulations are implemented with a positive outlook on crypto as a whole.
- Ukraine: Crypto is classified as property in the country. It is the growing destination for several crypto businesses.
- The United Kingdom: Exchanges need to fit certain FCA requirements. Bitcoin is private money.
- The United Arab Emirates: Considered a crypto-friendly country, UAE has its own Emirates Blockchain Strategy to move most of its transactions to blockchain and become a government powered by blockchain.
- The United States: Crypto is subject to tax laws in the United States. It is regulated if the sale of securities involves cryptocurrencies.
- Uzbekistan: Crypto is now legal in the country. Income gained from cryptocurrencies is not taxed, and exchanges need specific requirements and licensing to operate.
- Venezuela: Having created its petroleum-backed cryptocurrency in 2017, Venezuela seemed like a prime candidate for widespread crypto adoption. It was declared illegal in 2018, and efforts to make it legal again came about in January 2020. Mining, which had been illegal and those who did it were charged, have dismissed their charges. Cryptocurrency activities are now legal in Venezuela.
Countries Where Bitcoin is an Official Legal Tender
El Salvador: To our knowledge, this nation has officially acknowledged Bitcoin as money. The investor’s risk had been acknowledged before this action. Investors in bitcoin should be ecstatic. There should have been far more coverage of the monumental occasion of Bitcoin’s acceptance as legal money in any nation. If more nations follow El Salvador’s lead and embrace Bitcoin, it might set a significant historical precedent.
Countries Where Bitcoin is Neither Legal nor Illegal
The fate of Bitcoin is still up in the air in several nations. There are no hard and fast regulations or safeguards for Bitcoin in these situations, but its ownership and use are perfectly lawful. These nations are either actively working on cryptocurrency legislation or are waiting to see what happens. This list includes nations that have not yet made a decision:
- Albania: Warns citizens to use cryptocurrency responsibly.
- Afghanistan: The Ministry of Health plans to use blockchain to identify fraud in medicine. Still, crypto’s legal status is unclear.
- Angola: There is no legislation on it.
- Anguilla: They have policies regulating ICOs but make no mention of banning cryptocurrencies outright.
- Argentina: Specified that their Central Bank is the only one to issue legal currency and emphasizes that citizens treat crypto
- Belize: Belize has no crypto regulations to this date.
- The British Virgin Islands: They have been regarded as ICO-friendly, but nothing official on cryptocurrencies is available. The government is on standby with cryptocurrency policies, wanting to see how the crypto scene plays out first before further action.
- Brunei: There is an emphasis on cryptocurrency not being legal tender. The government urges caution.
- Cambodia: Although the government is developing its currency backed by blockchain, cryptocurrencies are still a gray area legally, with the government warning of the potential risks involved with cryptocurrencies.
- Costa Rica: Cryptocurrencies are emphasized as the individual’s risk and responsibility and are not recognized as legal tender.
- Cuba: There is no overarching framework to operate crypto under the government. An exchange, however, has still propped up with no domestic backlash.
- Guatemala: Citizens are warned about the decentralized nature of cryptocurrency. It is not recognized as domestic or foreign tender.
- Haiti: No framework is given for crypto to operate on.
- India: Although there was a fear of a ban earlier in 2021, the government will create a board to decide how to handle cryptocurrency.
- Honduras: The Central Bank does not support Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The individual is solely responsible for the risks.
- Kenya: The government has issued warnings of crypto’s volatile nature, lack of regulation, and susceptibility to criminal activity and urges caution to the citizens who want to engage in it.
- Jamaica: The government urges caution when handling crypto.
- Latvia: Although crypto is subject to personal and corporate income tax, cryptocurrencies are still legally in a gray area in Latvia.
- Lesotho: Lesotho does not allow the operation of cryptocurrencies that are unlicensed.
- Macau: The Monetary Authority of Macau discourages cryptocurrency participation.
- Malaysia: Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are not legal tender, and the Malaysian government advises citizens to use them cautiously. Using Bitcoin and cryptocurrency with transparency is heavily emphasized.
- Mexico: There is an emphasis on financial institutions to relay the risk of cryptocurrencies to citizens. The Central Bank does not back it, and is not considered a legal currency.
- Moldova: The National Bank of Moldova suggests treading cautiously.
- Montenegro: Crypto is regarded as an individual’s risk. Given their desire to join the European Union and use the euro as legal tender, the government is treading cautiously with crypto.
- Pakistan: Although investigating cryptocurrencies has the potential for tax evasion and money laundering, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are not recognized.
- Tajikistan: Although the Central Bank wants to make its digital currency, it is one of the least cyber-secure places in the world, making crypto operate through means that are neither legal nor illegal.
- Tanzania: The Tanzanian shilling is the only one described as legal tender, and crypto is legal but discouraged.
- Samoa: Crypto is not considered legal tender and is discouraged by the Central Bank for now because of its risky and speculative nature. Anyone wanting to conduct business with cryptocurrencies needs a business license. The Central Bank acknowledges the potential of blockchain.
- Zimbabwe: Cryptocurrencies are unregulated, but the government cautions individuals about their use, citing its possibilities of terrorism financing and fraud.
Bitcoin has been affected by the long-term fear of crypto crackdowns. Many individuals are still hesitant to use trustless systems and prefer to use conventional banks due to this reason. Regardless, more and more governments are getting involved in the digital innovation game. Also, governments that aren’t on board with the new sector could fall behind. Ironically, these countries rank among the world’s poorest, and crackdowns on Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies don’t appear to be helping matters. On the contrary, there is a great chance to raise everyone’s living level by welcoming cryptocurrency enterprises with supportive rules, bringing innovation, capital, tax money, and more.