Countries Where Bitcoin Is Legal — and Not

The Finrazor team has prepared the list of countries and territories where Bitcoin is legal and illegal supported by special information on laws and restrictions applied, as well as detailed explanations

We have already provided our readers with basic information on Bitcoin and its benefits, so it's time to learn about the legal status of Bitcoin and how it varies from country to country. While some countries allow its use and trade, others impose ban or restrictions.

Today using Bitcoin is legal in most countries. Governments are closely looking at the cryptocurrency market as they are not entirely sure how to view and regulate them. It should be noted, however, that this year some countries (e.g. China) are making small steps towards adopting virtual currencies and establishing customer protections in the industry.

Here is the list of countries and territories where Bitcoin is legal and illegal:

Australia: legal (as of July 1, 2017). There is no regulation for cryptocurrencies as payment. Bitcoin is treated 'just like money', not subject to double taxation; debating a bill to apply AML to exchanges, will prosecute exchanges without a license.

Argentina: legal (as of June 2018). Bitcoin is not a legal currency; no special laws are applied. Central bank's official warnings of the risks are involved. Bangladesh: illegal (as of September, 2014). Bitcoin is prosecuted under AML laws. The Central bank states anyone found guilty of using Bitcoin can face up to 12 years in prison.

Bolivia: illegal (as of May 6, 2014). Central bank's resolution. Any currency or coins, not issued/regulated by the government, are officially banned.

Canada: legal (as of June 19, 2014). Cryptocurrencies must comply with AML and KYC requirements.

Catalonia: legal (as of May 2018). There are no special laws. Barcelona has its own cryptocurrency REC (Recurso Económico Ciudadano — Civic Economic Facility).

Colombia: legal (as of early 2018). There are no special laws.

Chile: legal (as of early 2015). There is no regulation for cryptocurrencies.

China: legal with limitations (as of June, 2018). Bitcoin is prohibited for banks to use. Major exchanges are instructed to shut down; taxes and electricity usage standards for mining to be implemented.

Cyprus: legal (as of early 2015). There is no regulation for cryptocurrencies.

Ecuador: illegal (as of 2014). Nation Assembly is ruling. Cryptocurrencies are banned as the government plans to develop own digital money system.

Egypt: legal technically (as of June 2018). No special laws are applied. While cryptocurrency trading is technically legal, Shawki Allam, Egypt's highest religious leader, says it violates Islamic Religious Law.

Europe: legal (as of June 2018). Supportive rules are underway. Calling for stricter AML policies; Parliament supported measures to prevent cryptocurrencies to be used for money laundering and terrorism.

Hong-Kong: legal (as of early 2018). No special laws are applied.

India: legal with limitations (as of early 2018). Not legal tender; trading is banned. Central bank banned the purchase and sale of crypto assets by financial institutions.

Iran: legal (as of June 2018). There is no legislation.

Israel: legal (as of early 2018). Supportive rules are underway. Resolve bitcoin transactions.

Japan: legal (as of early 2017). Legal tender, not legal currency. Mandatory AML and KYC for exchanges; an exchange study group is established.

Kazakhstan: legal (as of June 2018). There is no legislation. The Central bank plans to ban cryptocurrencies.

Kyrgyzstan: legal (as of June 2018). There is no legislation. Government is against usage of cryptocurrencies.

Lebanon: illegal (as of 2017). There is no legislation.

Malaysia: legal (as of June 2018). There is no legislation. Cryptocurrency regulation is under development.

Mexico: legal (as of June 2018). AML laws are applicable. The government banned banks from dealing in cryptocurrencies in 2014; passed a bill to bring local exchanges under the oversight of the Central bank in late 2017.

Morocco: legal with limitations (as of late 2017). Foreign exchange regulations. Regulators warn of penalties for cryptocurrency use.

Namibia: illegal (as of 2014). References to global AML policies, local legislation. Cryptocurrency cannot be accepted as payment for goods and services.

New Zealand: legal (as of early 2018). No special laws are applied.

Nigeria: legal with limitations (as of January 17, 2017). Central bank's circular. Central bank attempted to ban bank transactions in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Norway: legal (as of early 2018). No special laws are applied.

Pakistan: legal with limitations (as of April 2018). The Central bank's statement. Financial companies are prohibited to work with cryptocurrencies.

Russia: legal (as of June 2018). Draft legislation was proposed in mid-2018. Focuses on preventing scams; to increase scrutiny for token sales and mining.

Singapore: legal (as of June 2018). Regulations are in development. Monetary Authority of Singapore warned of the risks associated with using Bitcoin in 2013.

South Africa: legal (as of June 2018). There is no legislation. Cryptocurrency regulations are implemented on a trial basis for a few selected businesses.

South Korea: legal (as of June 2018). Anonymous virtual currency accounts are banned. To increase oversight over exchanges; planning joint oversight with Japan and China over cryptocurrency investment.

Thailand: legal technically (as of March 2018). Two draft royal decrees. Established KYC requirements for investors and a capital gains tax.

Turkey: legal (as of 2018). No special laws are applied.

Vietnam: illegal (as of March 2018). References to global AML policies, local legislation. Cryptocurrency can't be accepted as payment for goods and services.

Ukraine: legal (as of July 2018). The Financial Stability Council of Ukraine supported a regulatory concept of crypto regulation that involves recognizing cryptocurrencies as a financial instrument.

The United Kingdom: legal (as of June 2018). Plans to regulate Bitcoin as a 'commodity'. Financial Conduct Authority warns on the risks due to the of lack of consumer protection.

The United States: legal (as of June 2018). Draft Uniform Regulation of Virtual Currency Act. Treasury classified Bitcoin as a convertible decentralized virtual currency in 2013; a federal judge ruled that 'Bitcoins are funds' in 2016.

Zimbabwe: legal (as of late 2017). No special laws are applied. The Central bank stated Bitcoin is not 'actually legal'.


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